Tomo & co | Japan Leather Guide(ジャパンレザーガイド)

Products: Tomo & co

Products: Tomo & co

Tomo & co:It's like looking for mistakes! Leather shoes that shine with humorous play

Tomo & coIt's like looking for mistakes! Leather shoes that shine with humorous play

Tomo & co was founded by Tomotaka Onozaki, the director and representative of the street brand Artiz, which started with T-shirts.
Around that time, he also developed leather shoes, suggesting a way of dressing that matched the street style with leather shoes. The brand name was rebranded as Tomo & co in 2014, when Artiz celebrated its 10 year anniversary. It shifted to a brand of leather shoes, sneakers and leather goods. The concept is "A pair of Bricolage," which means to assemble and make your own. While he takes his shoemaking seriously, Onozaki's designs incorporate the street culture antics he loved in his youth.

The zipper pull on your boots is a pull tab of canned juice, or the shoe laces on your moccasin shoes are like vinyl laces. Also, the shape of the blade is different on the left and right ....... Somewhere along the line, Tomo & co's shoes have a play that makes you chuckle. It's fun to find, and makes you feel like you're looking for a mistake.
They were inspired by street culture, with different feathers on the left and right inspired by skateboarding legend Steve Caballero, who wore sneakers with different colors on the left and right. The pull-tab zipper pull is an original made by YKK, and the moccasin shoe lace is a dyneamer with eight times the strength of a piano wire, so it's interesting that they don't just incorporate play, but also make it seriously.

Surprisingly, Tomo & co's leather shoes are made in factories that specialize in dress shoes. That's because design and inspiration are playful, but the finish is particular about being beautiful. The wooden molds are made by Nakata Rust of Nakata Shoe Wood Maker, a manufacturer of wooden molds for manufacturing shoes founded in 1918. In any case, there is an endless variety of wood patterns, including one that Onozaki has always loved and used.

Incidentally, wooden molds don't fit everyone, so I think it's better to pick one that can produce the form I like and then develop it in a variety of sizes. Because they are serious about manufacturing, playful designs can also be used.

Tomo & co is also actively collaborating. One of the more interesting collaborations was with Regal, announced in spring 2022. As is often the case with apparel brands, it's unusual for shoe brands to team up. What's more, they make Regal's iconic saddle shoes in a single color instead of a combination. At first glance, these shoes don't look like saddle shoes, but they are playful.

They also participate in SHIRONAMESHI EXHIBITIONS 2022. In this project, designers and artists create works based on the white tanned leather of Himeji, which has a history of more than 1000 years. Tomo & co makes shoes and shirts, using white tanned leather painted by ceramist Kansei Noguchi. With wallets set to roll out in earnest in December 2022, it looks like it will be a force to be reckoned with. The goal of the brand is not to get people to buy them, but to be the shoes they unconsciously choose at the front door. With his unique ideas, Onozaki will continue to run toward that goal.

Humorous design for a neat look

Tomo & co's subtly playful design is appealing. The coin loafers have an asymmetrical finish with a penny pinched in the right saddle. The unique texture of the cow leather is also impressive, and it perfectly matches the moderately voluminous vibram sole.
Dynemers, which are about eight times stronger than piano wires, are used to lace moccasin shoes. It looks like a vinyl string, and it has the functionality of never breaking.
The wingtip shoes are made of soft cow smooth leather. The sheer white leather creates a clean footing, and the different insoles on the left and right add humor.

Tomo & co (from above) COIN LOFER (TMTK-S-0032)
DyneemaMoccasin (TM-ZAKI-0001)

(tax included)
(from above)