The style that Imai creates comes from a background of studying shoemaking in France. He was trained in Italy under Giuseppe Beltramo.
He works from his atelier in Himeji city, and all of his shoes are handmade and hand painted by a small team of 3 craftsmen including himself.
Imai's MTO shoes start from ¥57,750 incl.VAT ($575 USD) for Blake constructed shoes, and for extra he can also do Blake Rapid or Handsewn Welted shoes. He also allows last customization, which is quite generous for this price range.
Imai shoes used to be sold through online retailers including an official online store, but somehow he abandoned that business model. Nowadays his shoes are available only through trunk shows and by visiting his atelier.
Hand welted, Blake Welted, Blake Rapid