Mihara Yasuhiro is a Japanese designer known for his work with shoes. His work has been prolific since his first shoes were created, landing him deals with Puma and major shoe distributors around the world. He has recently taken up clothing lines for both men and women and his work in street fashion has made him a popular name throughout Tokyo.
Mihara Yasuhiro was born on Kyushu Island in western Japan and attended Tama Art University where he first started experimenting with shoe design. While attending the University he created his first pairs of shoes and discovered the unique design style that would be used in many of his creations when he started his company in 1997. After creating the Mihara Yasuhiro shoe label, he quickly rose to acclaim with more than 50 accounts established in the first year of operation alone, only 25 years of age at the time.
In 1998, Yasuhiro opened his first store in Aoyama, Tokyo, calling it SOSU (Japanese for prime number). After establishing his name in the shoe sector, Mihara started producing apparel for both men and women, spreading his influence. However, he remained dedicated to his shoe designs, as emphasized in 2000 with the start of the PUMA Mihara collaboration, a multi-year deal to provide new PUMA designs. Two years later, in 2002, Mihara made his worldwide debut in Pitti Uomo, taking place in Florence, Italy.
Mihara Yasuhiro has become incredibly well known due to his inventive line of sneakers with Puma. The shoes are entirely unique in that they feature special patterns, longer drips, and everything from fur and studs to metallics and stripes. Likening his designs to a pencil with an eraser, Mihara strives to maintain the core essence of a shoe’s design. He says that similar to how a pencil would never be fundamentally altered, only visibly enhanced, a shoe cannot be altered any more than its form allows.
Designs for Puma sneakers are done over the course of weeks, starting with the creative process Mihara undergoes. He will produce whatever design and theme he thinks is best and present it to Puma’s London office. A 3-D model is created and then enhanced with new ideas before going to production.
Mihara’s connection to Puma may be what he is known best for, but his own label and his ability to pinpoint and enhance Street fashion has made him one of the core members of the Tokyo fashion scene today, despite having started in his early twenties.
His clothing collections and shows have taken on the same basic idea that his show collections have, introducing flamboyance and energy to the stage in ways that is not typical in the industry. His Autumn/Winter 2004 show for example, combined an abandoned bowling alley, Tokyo tower, and giant video screens with one eyeball each projected above the catwalk.