Some people say you can tell a person’s character from their shoes. After all, a straw shows which way the wind blows. Japanese brand Vincent Shoelace takes this saying to the next level, the brand focuses on not the shoes, but the shoelaces. The variety of shoelaces can really show the amount of care into small details.
The story began with a couple from Kyoto shopping in a vintage store. They were particularly drawn to a dainty retro shoelace. However, the shoelace was too short, so they could not use it. The two couldn’t take their mind off it so they started to produce their own shoelaces. They learnt the whole process from the beginning, from materials, dyeing, to design. Eventually they established Vincent Shoelace, a brand that only sells shoelaces, but not shoes.
Vincent Shoelace的鞋帶式樣繁多，均以復古和基本的樣式為重，而且每款鞋帶都命名自歐美的歷史名人，像是以北歐漁民的粗呢大衣為靈感的「Arnest」，就來自美國作家海明威的名字；至於以軍服常見的人字紋所編織的「Travis」，則是以《Taxi Driver》中羅拔·迪尼路飾演的主角為名；從這些取名的對象，涉獵的文藝和流行作品，大概能看出夫婦二人的美學品味。
Vincent Shoelace produces a wide variety of shoelaces, dedicated to retro and classic styles. Each shoelace is named from historical personas from the West. For example, “Arnest” – inspired by Nordic fishermen tweed coats – comes from American novelist Ernest Hemingway. Whereas “Travis” – a Herringbone pattern often found in the military – was inspired by the character Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. From the naming of products – paying homage to literary works and popular culture – you can tell that the couple have fine aesthetic taste.
在款式設計上品牌注重通用性，基本上一雙鞋帶，可以換在許多不同的鞋款上，但當然也有像「Michael」這雙Air Jordan專用的主題鞋帶，為經典鞋款度身製作的設計。然而要說到最特別的，還當數「Cocks comb」這款非鞋帶的異類商品。熟悉工裝文化的讀者，很快看出這個「Cocks comb」本屬工裝靴的配件，是用來擋住木屑和泥濘進入鞋子的擋片，不過品牌反其道而行，以Stan Smith運動鞋示範使用，這出奇的穿搭方式，可以看出他們不只會仰望經典，同時也是個敢於破除成規的品牌。
In terms of design the brand focuses on versatility, so that a pair of shoelaces can be put on different shoes. There are also styles like “Michael”, a pair of shoelaces specially designed and dedicated to the classic Air Jordans. The most remarkable one has to be the odd one out: “Cocks comb”. The readers who are workwear enthusiasts may recognize that “Cocks comb” is a work boot accessory for blocking wood chips and soil from seeping into the boots. Yet the brand features the shoelaces unconventionally on a pair of Stan Smiths. This peculiar way of styling really shows how the brand doesn’t just focus on classics, but is also willing to break some rules.