Hender Scheme, a small leather atelier operating out of Tokyo, broke into the public spotlight with their Manual Industrial Products series — a solemn name belying the lighthearted and street-centric nature of the project, a series of natural leather reproductions of iconic sneakers, from the Adidas Stan Smith to a most impressive high-top Nike Air Force 1. For Hender Scheme creative director Ryo Kashiwazaki, this kind of boundary-pushing flows naturally from a love of leather, a respect for the craft, and a dedication to producing things that endure.
From his interview with Haven Shop:
“Sneakers are originally made as manufactured products, but when crafted by means of Hender Scheme’s handmade production techniques they are given distinctiveness. The individuality of each craftsman’s engagement in different stages creates an expression in each leather product – making them unique and unlike anything produced from mass manufactured products.
With this design approach going against people’s notion of discarding sneakers when they become old, we have expressed the essence of ‘aging leather’ using tanned cowhide. By utilizing vegetable tanning on cowhide, wearing out a pair of sneakers develops its own style and is a way to enjoy the characteristics of leather.
For Spring / Summer 2014, we have made a few products using pig leather with waterproof coating by 3M, integrated during the tanning process. Depending on how it’s processed, leather is excellent for either water resistance or water repellency. For this season, we’ve made rain-wear such as rain caps and ponchos. I really wanted to make a cap for a rainy day.”