Creative Sole: Japanese Sneaker Culture

Nike Dunk High Premium 08 QK Ueno Panda Ueno/City Attack (2008) © Jérémie SOUTEYRAT.

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Creative Sole: Japanese Sneaker Culture

Believe the Hype: classics to contemporary and beyond, revealing Japan's voracious hunger for sneaker culture...

Having penned books on Japanese culture, art and crafts, Manami Okazaki has turned her attention to fashion with the upcoming release of Creative Sole: Japanese Sneaker Culture; a publication that focusses on Japan’s prolific presence in sneaker culture the world over, presented in an image-heavy 208-page hardback tome.

Creative Sole: Japanese Sneaker Culture by Manami Okazaki; published by Kingyo Limited

Although latecomers to the sneaker market, today theirs are some of the most sought after — brands like Onitsuka Tiger (later rebranded as ASICS, but retaining a vintage line sold under the old name) and collaborations with big-name design talent; think BAPE, Takashi Murakami, Hello Kitty and Comme des Garçons.

Creative Sole: Japanese Sneaker Culture profiles some of the country’s hottest designers, collaborators, artists and makers — those who infuse their creative energy into the multi-billion dollar industry, producing covetable and cool sneakers that warrant gallery space as much as insoles.

There’s over 350 photos to peruse here, and nostalgia ‘kicks’ in as readers can recognise and reminisce over classics like the Reebok Instapumps (2008 updates of the original mid-’90s favourites); several interpretations of the iconic Nike Air Max ’95s; and vintage adidas Rod Lavers. Museum-worthy rarities, vintage oddities, haute couture collaborations and high-art makeovers make up many more of the fascinating visual insights bound inside.

Interviews, insights and a kicks glossary add depth to the book, whilst quotes like “if there was no Air Max 95, there would be no sneaker culture either,” from mita sneakers’ creative director, Shigeyuki Kunii reinforce the importance of the classics on contemporary culture.

Creative Sole: Japanese Sneaker Culture by Manami Okazaki is published by Kingyo Limited, and available in stores from August 15th. In the meantime, get your hands on a pre-release copy at Maki23.com

Onitsuka Tiger COLORADO EIGHTY FIVE × Bruce Lee × BAIT Legend

Onitsuka Tiger COLORADO EIGHTY FIVE × Bruce Lee × BAIT Legend (2015) © Jérémie SOUTEYRAT.

ASICS Tiger GEL-LYTE III Souvenir Jacket BEAMS x mita sneakers

ASICS Tiger GEL-LYTE III Souvenir Jacket BEAMS x mita sneakers (2016) © Takeshi SUGA

ASICS Tiger GEL-LYTE III Souvenir Jacket BEAMS x mita sneakers Takeshi SUGA

ASICS Tiger GEL-LYTE III Souvenir Jacket BEAMS x mita sneakers (2016) © Takeshi SUGA

Creative Sole: Japanese Sneaker Culture by Manami Okazaki; published by Kingyo Limited
Creative Sole: Japanese Sneaker Culture by Manami Okazaki; published by Kingyo Limited
Nike Air Jordan 6 Retro Slam Dunk ©Jérémie SOUTEYRAT.

Nike Air Jordan 6 Retro Slam Dunk © Jérémie SOUTEYRAT.

KoiKlub suitcase

KoiKlub suitcase (Portugal, KoiKlub)
© OUT TO LUNCH/Yosuke Nishiumi

A BATHING APE ® x Wonderwall

A BATHING APE ® x Wonderwall

1967 Onitsuka Tiger MARUP NYLON

1967 Onitsuka Tiger MARUP NYLON © Julian KRAKOWIAK

Creative Sole: Japanese Sneaker Culture by Manami Okazaki; published by Kingyo Limited
Creative Sole: Japanese Sneaker Culture by Manami Okazaki; published by Kingyo Limited
PUMA × Mihara Yasuhiro

PUMA × Mihara Yasuhiro © Jérémie SOUTEYRAT.

Nike Dunk High Premium Osaka

Nike Dunk High Premium Osaka
© Jérémie SOUTEYRAT

New Balance MT576 Bamboo Rake FRAT × mita sneakers

New Balance MT576 Bamboo Rake FRAT × mita sneakers (2009)
© Jérémie SOUTEYRAT.

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