certain VICTORY

Sole Element: Hydrogen-1 Shoes

In today’s more stylishly understanding work place, we don’t all have to wear laced up brogues or too tight loafers to the office every day. At the same time, Air Jordans are out of the question. Enter Hero Nakatani, who launched Hydrogen-1 shoes to fill his need for comfortable, stylish, professional-looking footwear. A former hotel manager and developer, Nakatani decided to make the switch to sneaker design in 2012. He launched a successful Hydrogen-1 Kickstarter campaign in February that allowed him to proceed with his vision.

“As I looked around men’s fashion and what was available in the market, I noticed that a lot of shoes, sneakers, accessories were all decked out with lots of colors and logos,” Nakatani says. “I wanted to create something that was minimal and simple. I wanted my shoes to fit any clothing or style.” Something broken down to its simplest form with the versatility to merge with other elements correlates to the scientific Hydrogen, hence the company name.

The 100% Italian leather-made shoes with sneaker soles come in 13 additional styles that also follow the elemental theme–they include Oxygen, Nitrogen, Iron, and Magnesium. They’re all currently available on hydrogen-1.com, with five new styles arriving next season, Nakatani says. Hydrogen-1 is also slated to introduce men’s leather bags (duffle bags, briefcases, totes) to help propel the company’s foray as a premium urban men’s brand.