There was a growing international presence at this week’s men’s Project/Mrket and Project Sole show in New York, with a quartet of Japan-based footwear brands making their U.S. debut.
Keeping in an authentic Japanese spirit was Calen Blosso, a series of thongs detailed in a wide range of leathers and materials, inspired by traditional Asian looks. For a modern take on the classic silhouette, the outsoles were done in Vibram and PVC, with leather-lined footbeds. The line is produced in Japan and retails from $200-$250. The shoes will be available at retail in March-April.
Polpetta, produced in Vietnam, features a series of colorful trend-driven casuals and boots with an emphasis on smoking slippers and retail from $250-$400. The line is set to hit stores beginning in April.
Illei, a sneaker-focused collection made in China, retails from $250-$400 and will deliver to stores in the U.S. in June-July. For a more directional look, there’s Nil Admirari, which includes boots and creepers and retails from $450-$650. Delivery is slated for June.