Reviving Tradition with Innovation: Shinji Honda's Bisole

Minimalist Design Meets Traditional Japanese Footwear in A' Design Award Winner

Shinji Honda's Bisole, a modern take on traditional Japanese slip-on sandals, has been recognized with a Silver A' Footwear, Shoes and Boots Design Award in 2023. The design combines a minimalist aesthetic with innovative materials, reviving a fading cultural tradition in a form that fits the modern lifestyle.

The Bisole was inspired by the "tsukkake," a type of slip-on sandal that has been a part of Japanese culture for centuries. The term "tsukkake" refers to the motion of slipping one's toes into a shoe, a simple action that inspired the easy-to-wear design of the Bisole. Despite the dwindling use of "tsukkake" in contemporary Japanese households, Honda's brand FRONTIER sought to preserve this unique aspect of Japanese culture by adapting it to the modern lifestyle.

The Bisole stands out with its minimalist design that eschews unnecessary decorative elements. Available in a wide variety of basic colors, the sandals cater to all ages and genders. The main material used is EVA, chosen for its lightweight and soft comfort. The non-slip sole is made of rubber for enhanced grip, and the insole is removable and washable, allowing for cleaner use.

The production of the Bisole involved foam molding with EVA material, a process that presented a significant challenge. Achieving uniform size in the body of the sandal was difficult, as any size error would result in mismatched insole and outsole sizes. However, through meticulous adjustments to the foaming rate, FRONTIER was able to overcome this hurdle and realize the commercialization of the product.

The Bisole measures 325mm in length, 235mm in width, and 120mm in height, and each pair comes in a box. The product was released in January 2023, marking a significant milestone in FRONTIER's mission to preserve and innovate upon traditional Japanese culture.

The Silver A' Design Award is a testament to the Bisole's remarkable blend of creativity, technical expertise, and innovation. The award is given to top-of-the-line designs that exhibit outstanding artistic skill and introduce positive feelings, amazement, and wonder. With the Bisole, Shinji Honda and FRONTIER have not only created a product of excellent design but also revived a piece of cultural heritage for the modern world.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Shinji Honda
Image Credits: Shinji Honda
Project Team Members: Shinji Honda
Project Name: bisole
Project Client: Shinji Honda

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