April and restlessness go hand in hand—it’s not quite warm enough to ditch the jacket, but it’s also not cold enough to wear it. Even Chaucer once pointed out that people long for a journey when the buds pop up on the trees. If you’re longing for your own trip, Tokyo based shoe brand Chausser Inc—appropriately named after the English poet—has all your needs covered with shoes for the travel hungry.
The son of a shoemaker, designer Yoichi Maeda got his start as a salesman in the shoe industry before launching his own brand YOH#81 and later introducing Chausser Inc in autumn/winter ’00-’01. Naturally Maeda found inspiration from hanging around his father’s atelier as a kid, recalling: “I felt something favorable for long-worn shoes that were at the atelier for repair.” But he also cites 20th century American realism as another pervasive influence—particularly the work of Norman Rockwell.
Maeda’s designs convey the combined influence of each shoe’s personal history and Rockwell’s idealism. The men’s shoes have a traditionalist, traveling salesman feel that would nicely complement a three-piece suit and a fedora, while the women’s line displays a similar hard-working aesthetic with a modern edge. Unlike the classic simplicity of the men’s collection, the women’s shoes show off angular shapes, giving each pair a wonderful complexity. Seductive heels and a bright palette give the line a jolt of edginess, but there’s also an evident formality in both lines.
The most important design characteristic, however, is durability. So, if spring finds you eager to go on a journey, to see the sights, to travel by foot, then Chausser will carry you there.