KOJI HORIGOME

...creating special shoes for special people

Shoe label Koji Horigome is based in London, UK, and launched in 2008. Koji graduated from Cordwainers at London College of Fashion in 2005 and was awarded the "Cordwainers Excellence Award". During his studies, he started working for several UK based shoe companies as a shoe designer. Having worked a few years as a freelance designer, Koji got bored by existing commercial shoes and that’s when he decided to start his own label, aiming to create shoes for special people. His first collection "Innocence" is dedicated to those who believe in the importance of shoe shapes. The collection contains a specially developed asymmetrical shoe shape which is an antithesis to the 20th century industrial revolution. The colour theme of the collection is white, in order to let people clearly sense the shape of the shoes. Details are studied and transformed from the 19th century decorative artificial limb, inspired by those people who had a fashionable sense for prosthetics. The collection also contains a mixture of old traditional shoe making methods as well as futuristic materials such as reflectors and PU latex.

Nothing inspires me like…
The shape of orthopaedic shoes, 1960s artificial limbs, vintage medical equipment, military outfits, processes of traditional shoe making, the film "Ghost in the Shell" and abandoned buildings.

I hope…
I could get my hands on an "optical camouflage" system in the future. A system which allows you to become completely invisible. It would be fun to use this system and make perfectly "invisible" shoes, although it would be hard to photograph them.

Cultural influences…
60s Rock n’ Roll Music, the late 70s Punk Movement, Retro "Futuristic" Architecture, "Japanimation" (Japanese animation), and London East End street fashion.

I got where I am...
I became shoe designer simply because shoes attract me so much. Power of attraction is like gravity. I cannot escape from it.

Fashion can sometimes...
Fashion can end up just "looking nice". But I want to mix functional elements in my collection as well as exploring aesthetics. In addition, I do believe there must be an "uncomfortable" feeling in my work, not too much though. Being edgy sometimes shocks people. I love watching people being astonished by my works.

Love now because…
Recently, I fell in love with snooker. I love it because I feel like there’s a universe on the snooker table.

Creativity comes from…
I imagine a person who is appearing in my imagination. He/she tells me what sort of shoes they want to wear. This is how I start creating things.

I have never…
Missed tea at least once a day since I left Japan.

My dreams are…
Going to the moon.

London is...
The place where people are edgy, individual and original. I love watching people on the street, especially at East End markets. I cannot articulate it, but there must be something which leads people to be cool.

I wouldn't pay for...
I love taking photos of shoes myself. I would not pay someone for taking photographs of my work.

My goal…
I haven’t found/set my destination yet. Even if, I’ll do my best everyday. That’s all.

I like making...
I occasionally make leather accessories for friends. It is my pleasure to see friends having something small I made.

I wouldn't want...
I used to wear a ring or wrist watch, but I stopped wearing them since I started making shoes. They are quite disturbing when you work on patterns or drawings. I have realised that I won’t get any of these accessories in my life ever again except for a marriage ring.

I've been a Bhuddist...
I’m not religious person at all. I’m more interested in how religion has expanded all over the world and what makes people believe in God.