On the occasion of Seishou's participation at Pitti Immagine 104, shoe designer Yuko Matsuzaki tells us more about her new collection of Made in Italy shoes.
From June 13 to 16, 2023, in Florence, Yuko Matsuzaki will present the new Seishou shoe collection at Pitti Immagine, in a pop up, at booth B/20 (Central Pavilion, ground floor), available to visitors from 9 to 18, except for Friday June 16 when it will be available from 9 to 16.
When did you get involved in footwear design?
After studying art at the University of Tokyo, I had the opportunity to work for major Japanese shoe brands. This is where my career, which has been going on for more than forty years, began.
When did you start working in Italy?
In the 1990s, when I was still working in Japan, I often traveled to Italy to select Italian shoes for the Japanese market. In the 2000s I started collaborating directly with various Italian shoe factories and, therefore, I decided to move to Milan.
How did the idea of Seishou come about?
The luxury footwear brand Seishou was born in 2020, when fashion director Masaharu Ikeda and I decided to create a line of luxury footwear that reflected our sensibility for essential design, and is produced in Italian artisan shoe factories. Hence the name Seishou, which means "to sing together in unison", to indicate the harmony between Japanese design and the high quality of Italian manufacturing.
What does “essential design” mean to you?
For me, essential design is a clear reference to Japanese minimalism which is expressed through design and shape: thin and elegant lines and strokes put on paper. Minimalism is considered a typical standard of Japanese design, but in the West, it is perceived as a peculiarity.
Why did you decide to manufacture your shoes in Italy?
Seishou is a Made in Italy brand, in the choice of materials and in the ways of making the shoe. In fact, Italian footwear craftsmanship is considered the best in the world, and this is why I chose to make my shoes in Italy, actively participating in the creation process in the laboratory. There is a certain taste, a je-ne-sais-quoi, which can be found in Italian manufacturing and is not present in any other artisan tradition.
What inspires you to create your designs?
Before making the designs for my shoes, I love walking around and looking at the windows of small boutiques of Made in Italy brands, often preferring small towns with a certain charm to the lively metropolis of Milan.
How did the idea of creating Seishou footwear models come about?
The shoe line was initially born to re-interpret the classic models of the ivy/preppy style. Then it evolved towards a more casual/sporty direction. My objective has always been to create a new standard of shoes: not too classic, not too sporty, by implementing different design elements.
What are the suitable occasions for using Seishou footwear?
For my shoes, I thought of different contexts: indoors, work and leisure. Seishou focuses on a style that is suitable for all occasions, because the same pair of shoes can be worn throughout the day, from morning till night.
What is the secret behind the comfort of Seishou footwear?
First of all, their construction, which can adapt to the shape of the foot. Secondly, the choice of traditional and innovative materials: high quality leather, latex insoles, soles made with different types of rubber which are specifically designed for each model.
What does it mean for you to bring your brand to Pitti Immagine 2023?
Pitti Immagine is an ideal stage to launch a collection based on international designs and strongly rooted in the Made in Italy mark. I am very proud to be able to present my designs at the most important fashion event in Italy.
Can you give us some a sneak peek into the models you will present?
In addition to the permanent collection, which is already available on the Seishou website, I will also present some new models of my brand in an exclusive preview. There will also be a capsule with Angelo Inglese.
How did the collaboration with Angelo Inglese and the creation of this new capsule come about?
I have known Angelo Inglese and his brand for many years. Given the affinity in terms of style, the idea of creating a project together developed naturally.