“For me, Tod’s is a long-established Italian brand that combines various knowledge, experience, and advanced technology accumulated over a long history,” Japanese designer Ryo Kashiwazaki exclusively told GRAZIA and ICON.
In a special event at Milan Fashion Week overnight, the Italian fashion house unveiled its latest collection with the founder’s brand, Hender Scheme. Collaborating with Tod’s creative director Walter Chiapponi, the Japanese brand combined the creative style and craftsmanship of both designers for a new approach dubbed “New Craft”.
The collaboration is part of Tod’s Factory, a creative laboratory, born to realise innovative and unconventional projects with designers and artists from the world of luxury and design.
“Since both of us are brands that mainly focus on shoes and leather, I decided to combine the specialties of both by looking at the commonalities and differences,” Kashiwazaki explained.
Tod’s was founded at the turn of the 20th century and began as a shoemaking business, run from a small workshop in Filippo Della Valle’s basement. In 1970, Filippo’s grandson Diego Della Valle transformed the business into an industrial company and by the 1983 had launched the Tod’s brand, best known for its Gommino driving shoes, the soles emblazoned with rubber pebbles.
“Based on “FLIP”, the keyword for making things in Hender Scheme, the idea [was] to flip the Tod’s logo and interpret DOT’S as [the] pebbles on the sole of Tod’s. Using this idea as a starting point, I expanded this collection,” he added.
“In fact, when I stepped into the Gommino loafer, I realised why it became an iconic product: there is a softness that I couldn’t imagine for a leather shoe. For this collection we have incorporated these important elements into the details of the shoes in particular.”
The distinct craftsmanship of Tod’s silhouettes – crisp tailoring, soft calfskin leather and a rich and earthy colour palette – collided with contemporary design cues. The aforementioned rubber pebbles have been expanded and form a chunky sole. Court shoes are more sporty than past iterations. Leather goods reveal modern subtitles like the leopard print of the bag strap and occasional pops of pink, purple and yellow.
Kashiwazaki is clear to note that the collaborative pieces are not pigeon-holed for any one gender. The collection is unisex but was never planned to be the hero theme of the collaboration. Instead it allows freedom for the wearers.
“I do not have specific customer in my mind,” the designer says. “I would be happy if various people could get interested to the collection.
“In his creative process Hender Scheme works on products without any limits by gender schema and therefore, Hender Scheme releases products as unisex. The design of this collection is not focused on being gender neutral, but the brand’s creative process allows the wearer creative freedom.”
The capsule will be avaiable in select Tod’s boutiques, on tods.com, at 10 Corso Como in Milan and Seoul and at Dover Street Market in Tokyo, Beijing and Singapore.