Collaborations don’t come much better than this, and nor does footwear. The heavyweight clothing specialists behind MAN-TLE have teamed up with NAITO, traditional sandal makers in the Gion geisha district in Kyoto, Japan, to create the brand’s first ever piece of footwear – the MAN-TLE x JOJO.
Naito have been making sandals for the kimono-clad Gion locals for 140 years – namely the wooden, platformed Geta, the world’s original thong, designed to create space between the bottom of expensive kimonos and the ground upon which geishas walked. While it has been said that this iconic shoe is perhaps the early ancestor of Australia’s unique contribution to the evolution of footwear – the Double Plugger -, most will be pleased to hear that they now impart a new and far more stylish offspring in the JOJO, a new shape of this traditional shoe appealing to contemporary sensibilities and style.
Designed to be durable, machine-washable and above all, comfortable, the JOJO consists of five materials all hand-crafted by Japanese artisans, in Japan.
The outsoles are made from a high-compound tire rubber, lined with the same foam used in basketball shoes, while the insoles are made from a 100% natural cork grown in Kanazawa. The notoriously stubborn toe piece – a make or break feature of the thong – is made from soft but durable dummy-rubber, ensuring comfort for your toe-hammocks. As part of this special collaboration, MAN-TLE’s signature 100% cotton paraffin wax-coated chambray comprise the thong’s straps, which are fixed to the sole of the shoe by parachute-grade Velcro.
Fusing function and fashion in this way isn’t new for MAN-TLE, who create fashion-forward garments that make sense in Australia’s rugged environment and reflect the egalitarian sensibility of its inhabitants. Their products are produced in Japan using age-old techniques and materials, translating back into the Australian context seamlessly. We suspect the MAN-TLE x JOJO will be no exception.
Husband-wife duo Larz Harry and Aida Kim anticipate that the MAN-TLE x JOJO will experience quick popularity after launching at KINK in Nagoya, Japan, in January 2019. As the exclusive stockists of this manufacturer in Australia and with the product otherwise only available on their ESHOP, those wanting a pair will do well to make it along to next weekend’s launch at the brand’s Osborne Park warehouse, where limited stock will be available for purchase.
MAN-TLE’s Launching Weekend will take place Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December, complete with DJ sets from local beat-keepers Montana Bourke and Andrew Sinclair, gourmet ‘Daikon Dogs’, beer supplied by Mismatch Brewing and coffee from Micrology Coffee Roasters.