Loafer of the achingly cool, visvim’s moccasin stylings seem right on the money as we veer towards the mainstreaming of folk chic. But, the cult Japanese footwear brand has been doing its own thing with shoes that are one-part sneaker, one-part moccasin for quite some time.
Hiroki Nakamura set up his laid-back shoe brand almost twenty years ago when Tokyo’s penchant for unassuming cool shifted towards clothing that didn’t make too much fuss was really getting up and running. Of course, it wasn’t the only place on the planet where designers were becoming interested in a kind of back-to-basics, casual simplicity. The seeds of all those neo-folk ideas that slowly built a quiet wave of followers mean that today you can find little enclaves of like-minded designers and producers clustering in almost any large city, for example, London’s Lamb’s Conduit Street.
Whether myth or fact, the story goes that Nakamura came up with the idea to produce the visvim FBT silhouette when a friend showed him the cover of the 1984 Fun Boy Three album (never publicly admit that you know exactly the one I’m talking about without the aid of Google!) Less interested in the retro-cool vintage Brit pop, Nakamura was more fascinated by what Terry Hall (again, don’t admit you know who I mean) had on his feet. And so, in 2001, visvim’s FBT silhouette was born and has been pretty much a staple in one form or another in visvim’s collections ever since.
So maybe you’ll treat yourself to the Voyageur Moc-Folk boot, the perfect combination with all that suede that is about to be the height of fashion. Or, if you fancy the full Blackfoot brave effect, there’s always the FBT Elk in a range of different coloured leathers – elk was one of the leathers particular favoured by Native Americans for moccasins. A word warning though about these collector’s items: don’t expect folk prices.