Since its inauguration in 2006, Japanese brand Suicoke has been dominating the fashion industry with their unique take on footwear. Developing a fashion forward yet functional shoe, they’ve collaborated with leading streetwear designers like John Elliott, Cecilie Bahnsen, Mastermind Japan, Aries and more.
Over the course of the brands progression, Suicoke has continued to establish their position as a label creating performance sandals with a street style aesthetic. However, a profound quality of the label has been the level of anonymity. Although their shoes are growing in popularity, the designers and production behind the one-of-a-kind sandal remains unknown - putting emphasis on the wearable art that is their shoe rather than those behind its creation.
In this designer spotlight, we unravel Suicoke and how they continue to break the barrier of what it means to provide functional yet fashion forward footwear.
Let’s start from the very beginning, how did Suicoke begin? Reading some excerpts, I found out Suicoke used to create small dolls before delving into shoes, how did the shift to footwear happen?
Suicoke began with several projects and products that were interesting to our team. Eventually we began producing footwear to bring our interests into an industry we wanted to explore.
How would you describe your brand as it is today? How has it evolved over the years?
Our brand is one that places importance on the usage of quality materials in a minimal and unique manner. The products are often complimented by accents, colors, materials and silhouettes that constantly keep our aesthetic evolving.
Where did the name Suicoke come from?
The name has no particular meaning but in fact was meant to stand be recognizable on its own without any referent.
On your website there’s no "About Us" section or much information about the individuals behind the brand. Was this intentional? If so what made you want to remain anonymous when it came to your brand?
Suicoke’s aim is to put our products first as the main focus. We would prefer for consumers to enjoy what we do with a blank slate and without any prior judgements.
We’re a Canadian brand and we try to incorporate that within a lot of what we talk about and how we portray ourselves. Your brand is Japanese, in what ways would you argue Japanese culture has shaped your pieces, if at all?
Being a Japanese brand, we do have silhouettes in our product lineup that stay true to traditional Japanese styling. More importantly, we emphasize making great products that can be appreciated by as many consumers as possible.
What market would you really like to continue growing?
There isn’t one particular market that we are aiming to target. Instead, our main goal is to continue to expand our global presence and retain our presence domestically.
In 2012 you debuted your original Sandal, which I would argue has almost become a signature of your brand. What was the motive behind creating the sandal?
Our first original sandal styles are also our core styles. This is due to their minimal, yet classic look for a wide range of consumers to appreciate.
Is there a favourite type of sandal that you’ve created and that you argue everyone should have as a staple? If so, why?
We don’t have a favorite sandal style, however any of our four core styles are staples. The Depa, Kisee, Moto and Kaw models are the ones that are most iconic. Although these are the classic styles, we encourage people to select models that fit their taste best amongst our product line.
Written by: Nicole Jardim and Ally Panico