When you imagine a pair of boat shoes, you probably also imagine their context: worn by someone traipsing about a slick yacht or stepping back in pastel shorts to sink a ping pong ball into a solo cup (not necessarily separate situations). Engineered Garments’ take on the boat shoe…is not that at all.
Known for twisting canonical menswear garments, Daiki Suzuki’s brand has flipped iconic shoes like the Vans slip-on and Dr Martens 1461 3-eye derby to sellout results. Now, EG has teamed up with Sebago to take on the boat shoe.
“The handsewn moccasins are very much a classic American style to me for many reasons,” Suzuki says. “Native American moccasins, handmade crafted shoes by the hippie generation (Carl Dyers), boat shoe makers (L.L. Bean), etc. all express this style.”
EG is releasing a nine-piece capsule that riffs on Sebago’s Askook shoe, a blucher moccasin shoe that’s essentially a streamlined sibling of the brand’s Dockside boat shoes. Suzuki’s version forgoes the eyelets and leather cord around the ankle, while adding a chunky land-ready Vibram sole. He also uses a mashup of leathers in his signature patchwork aesthetic, including a few reptilian-embossed joints. (That’s a callback to the name of the shoe: askook is Algonquin for snake.)
Though he hasn’t changed the overall silhouette, Suzuki has changed how you get into the boat. His shoe uses a variety of lacing systems that range from straddled d-rings to a removable zipper tongue to drawcord laces. Clear outdoor boot inspiration. One pair even obscures the laces entirely. All of these are tricks Suzuki has employed in past collaborations. Why not pile them into the new one? As adventurous as Sebago has gotten in recent seasons (see: this menagerie of a loafer), Suzuki says he wanted to design something that the brand would never come up with. “It’s like the Yin-Yang or Chic and Shock approach,” he says.
It’s all done to rather dizzying effect. But Suzuki’s rethink won’t make you seasick so much as reorient the way you look at a boat shoe.
The collection is available at Nepenthes.