The Height of Japanese Craftsmanship

The Armoury is proud to host some of the most talented artisans in the world, chief among them a crew of incredibly talented Japanese craftsmen - Koji Suzuki and Nackymade.

Both Koji and Nacky took the time when they were young to truly engross themselves into their respective crafts. At the age of 22, Koji traveled to Empoli, Italy to study shoemaking at the Sarteco school of fashion. There he focused on learning the basics of pattern making, a skill that his father also undertook. Later, he was lucky enough to study under the famed shoemaker Roberto Ugolini, a world class bespoke shoemaker and one of the best last-makers in the world. If you’ve ever worn a pair of Vass shoes, there is a good chance that Ugolini helped shape that experience.

Koji trained with Ugolini for three years before returning to Japan to open up his own atelier and subsequently hone his very unique style. Equal parts Italian, English, and Japanese, Koji’s style is reminiscent of old English designs but with some Italian flair and Japanese attention to detail. Today Koji simply exclaims that he strives to make shoes that contain an “unchanging beauty”.

Koji Suzuki in his atelier
An apprentice attaching an insole to a last
The Last Wall
A line up of tools in Koji's workshop
Crocodile nubuck and an assortment of leathers
Koji's signature double-monk strap
Seamless heels

Naoki Nakagawa, “Nacky” and Tomoko Nakagawa, “Mocky” are the incredibly humble, continually charming duo behind Nackymade glasses. Nacky’s interest in glasses began at the age of 17, when he worked as a salesperson in an eyewear shop in Japan. He struggled to find glasses that he was excited to wear, so he began training as an apprentice in Fukui, the epicenter of glassmaking in Japan.

He trained and worked for eight years to become an expert in every aspect of eyewear including manufacturing, designing, prescriptions, and sales. In 2004 he opened up his first shop in Kobe with his wife Mocky. Today they remain as enthusiastic about their work as they were when they first started, offering new models, made-to-order spectacles, and one-of-a-kind bespoke creations.

Nacky showcasing his signature dragon arms
Nacky & Mocky
Nacky & Mocky

On a personal level, Nacky, Mocky, and Koji are some of the most kind-hearted and welcoming people we’ve ever met, and it’s a pleasure to get to work with them so closely at The Armoury.