Nigel Cabourn X Mihara Yasuhiro
Mihara Yasuhiro is a Japanese designer who has once again joined forces with Nigel Cabourn to create another impressive sneaker collection. The collaboration between both the designers is a prime example of their talents in collecting historical details and bringing them up to date with the finest materials and craftsmanship available today. The shoes designed for this season are anything but traditional, combining classic basketball footwear design with techniques often reserved for bespoke shoemaking.
With desires to first become an artist, Mihara Yasuhiro began his journey at the Tama Art Department in 1993 as a textile undergraduate, which then led to self-study making shoes. Two years later, the designer opened his own shop called the “archi doom”, which was later renamed to MIHARAYASUHIRO and his own brand label was established.
Around this time (the mid-90s), trainers were rarely used for fashion purposes, and were predominantly sportswear items, for basketball, athletics or tennis. Unless the trainers were designed for sportswear purposes they were regularly unacknowledged by fashion brands, meaning Yasuhiro struggled to get his designs through to the leading brands. These were continuously ignored until Puma finally recognised the designer and his talents were used to reintroduce a few of their old classics from their archive.
Yasuhiro told us, “When you imagine creating shoes there are seemingly a lot of constraints, but I can also feel freedom in these limitations. If it’s easy to understand then it’s like ‘Bonsai’ – there’s an element of harmony, peace and balance.”
This season, both designers have come together to collaborate, using Mihara’s Original Sole design. The Running Trainer is available in three colourways – Sky/Blue, Purple/Black and Green/Army. This design features a rippled midsole, which was designed using a hand-shaped clay mould, which was used to create the wavy, free-form shape. Complementing the design is the premium suede and mesh panels, as well as a padded collar, oversized laces and a grippy outsole.
Returning this season is the Low-Cut Sneaker, available in a multi-colour. This sneaker is an inventive, singular design which has again adopted Mihara’s trademark Original Sole. Using the Opanka method and traditional clay moulding, the shoe has been sewed at the sole, lining and uppers using double-needle stitching. For extra comfort, the sneakers have a canvas cotton, a sturdy rubber toecap and a lace-loop on the back.
Shop the collaboration here.