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Hender Scheme's 'Hommage' Collection

Hender Scheme's 'Hommage' Collection

For the first time ever, Hender Scheme’s collection of iconic, handmade leather sneakers are arriving in Sydney this week.

Made by hand in Japan over the course of several months, Hender Scheme’s ‘Hommage’ collection consists of tributes to classic silhouettes such as the Nike Air Force Ones, Jordan IV’s, Reebok Pump Fury and Adidas Superstars. 

Psychologist-turned-cobbler Ryo Kashiwazaki’s recipe of taking the world’s most famous and instantly recognizable sneakers and transmorphing them into a bespoke leather shoe has made Hender Scheme into something of a cult.

“I think maybe it is because I made things that people have already seen before, but at the same have never seen, as well,” muses Ryo.

Every pair of Hender Scheme shoes is created from scratch by a team of specialist craftsmen spread across Tokyo’s Asakusa region. 

The company is named after Ann Berm’s ‘gender scheme’ concept: a theory to explain how individuals become gendered in society.  Ryo’s ambition is to do away with conventional, gender-based fashion, and instead let design dictate a product.  The resulting collection of unisex premium leather accessories has transformed Hender Scheme into one of Japan’s underground lovemarks.

One of the most important tenets of the company is that they don’t make finished products. Ryo views each new pair of shoes as only 80% done.

“Ideally, once a person has a pair and starts using them, it becomes their own.  They might look nice on display, but [the shoes are] a tool meant to be used,” Ryo has said. “The way the sole wears down, whether someone likes their leather dirty or clean, in the end, I see a new pair of Hender Schemes at 80% of its journey. The remaining 20% only takes effect once someone puts them on and starts walking.” 

The underlying idea is that Hender Scheme sneakers last forever, perhaps unlike their canvas and plastic counterparts. Championed by the likes of High Snobeity, HypeBeast, Monocle, and Vogue, they retail for between $900 - $1500 and are notoriously hard to come by.  As our waiting list suggests, Sorry Thanks I Love You is one of only 45 Hender Scheme stockists globally.

Hender Scheme’official collaboration with Adidas has validated the authenticity of Ryo’s concept, and cemented the company’s position in the sneaker world. 

“It’s an expression of the idea that you can take something that’s mass produced, and turn it into something completely different,” Ryo has said. “I’m not trying to say one is better than the other - it’s not about that at all. They are both good things, yet entirely different because of the people, the background of production, and the surrounding environment in which it is made. It’s something I’m doing as a personal project.” 


Hender Scheme’s Hommage collection is online now and arrives in store this week.