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Tokio Kumagai's Surrealist Shoes

Tokio Kumagai's Surrealist Shoes

by allison • July 26

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Tokio Kumagai (1948-1987) was a Japanese fashion designer, active during the 1970's and 80's. In 1970, he graduated from the prestigious Bunka Fashion College, which was also the school of designers Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto, and Tsumori Chisato.

After his training, Kumagai went to Paris where he worked with Castlebajac, and later worked with Cerruti in Italy. In 1981 he opened his first shoe boutique in Paris. He became known for his playful designs of shoes resembling cars and mice, as well as adapting the work of artists such as Dali and Kandinsky into hand-crafted footwear.

In 1984, Kumagai created a collection called "Shoes to Eat," from which the meaty shoes above originated from. The surrealist footwear collection was inspired by the models of entrees that restaurants in Japan display in their windows.

Other shoes in this collection looked like they were constructed from sundaes and rice dishes, and additional types of meat, though they were actually made mostly of acrylic or resin.

As you can imagine, pieces of Kumagai's collections have a place in many museums around the world, including the Kyoto Costume Institute, the National Gallery of Australia, and the Powerhouse Museum of Science and Design (also in Australia.)

The image comes from Fashion: The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute available through Amazon