It’s almost like keeping a secret garden or painting hidden inside your shoes!
Japanese gift item manufacturer and retailer REGALERIA have come up with a stylish way to brighten your footwear, well the inside of them, at least. The company has recently released a line of shoe insoles that are elegantly decorated with traditional dye-print patterns from the Edo period (1603 – 1868). Apparently, the concept is to bring traditional techniques into the today’s lifestyles, and it looks like they’ve found a creative and artistic way to do just that.
During the Edo period, intricate and unique dye patterns, many featuring plant and flower motifs, were used widely in clothing, and the hand-dyeing technique of the period has been carried on to this day as an artisan craft. However, with the modern printing techniques now available, there are fewer and fewer craftsmen keeping the skill alive, resulting in genuine hand-dyed print items becoming more costly in recent times.
To bring in some change and excitement to the Edo hand-dye craft, the product developers at REGALERIA wanted to create an item other than traditional kimono wear that would blend in with people’s lifestyles today and could also be appreciated and used by consumers from countries around the world. Ideally, it would be something subtle yet stylish, and they came up with shoe insoles which would be visible when people took their shoes off, something that is part of the culture in Japan, and undoubtedly fashionable when the patterns could be seen.
They have made five patterns available, all selected from the more than 500 stencil patterns owned by the Fujimoto Some (pronounced so-meh) Kōgei company that worked with REGALERIA to dye the prints for the insoles. Here’s a look at the five designs.
1. Aoi 葵（Hollylock plant）
2. Akane 茜（Red Madder Plant）
3. Midori 翠（Jade Green）
4. Mitsu 蜜（Nectar）
5. Ryo 涼（Cool）
The insoles are made of rubber and cork, and each pair is priced at 3,219 yen (US$30) at REGALERIA’s online shop. An item that combines modern material with traditional artisan craftsmanship, it should make for an interesting and visually appealing gift, either for yourself or friends and family!
Source, images: PR Times press release