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Tom’s love of shoes began at the age of 5 when he was given his first pair of Nike Air Jordan basketball shoes. Since then, he has gone through hundreds of pairs of shoes and his current collection includes about 80 pairs of Aldens, Edward Greens, John Lobbs, and Saint Crispin’s.
A graduate of Iolani School in Honolulu, Tom spent 9 months studying abroad in Kobe, Japan during his studies at the University of Hawaii. After graduation, Tom has had experiences in high end retail sales and management, as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, and as a sales consultant with Lexus before deciding to follows his dream and open Leather Soul.
Tom is an avid tennis player, enjoys playing golf, and loves to travel. His favorite activity however is spending quality time with his friends and family.
Tom was named the 2012 Hawaii Korean Entrepreneur of the Year, 2008 SBA Young Entreprenuer of the Year, and is on the board of directors of the GIFT Foundation of Hawaii. He remains very active with his alma mater, Iolani School.
Takuya joined Leather Soul in 2008 after experience working in outside sales in Tokyo, Japan. A graduate of the prestigious KEIO University in Tokyo with a degree in Accounting, Takuya passed the rigorous US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination while working at Leather Soul.
Having spent his teen years in New York, Takuya is well versed in English as well as his native language, Japanese. He enjoys playing basketball and golf during his free time.
Shane joined Leather Soul in 2012 after a 16 year career with Salvatore Ferragamo. As General Manager of their Ala Moana boutique, Shane was responsible with the task of running one of the most strategically situated Ferragamo flagship boutiques in the world.
Shane is happily married with two daughters. He enjoys the triple Fs: family, friends, and food. Shane proudly notes, “I may not be as good looking as Shigeo but at least I am taller than him!”
Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Kuni has been living in Hawaii for over 10 years now. A graduate of Nihon University in Tokyo, Kuni has a wealth of experience in sales and management, specializing in leathergoods, jewelry, and high end watches.
When not hard at work, Kuni enjoys spending time with his son and wife. His hobbies include tennis and swimming. Kuni also has a passion for Native American art and visits reservations to meet with friends and to learn about the Native American culture.
Yasuo first met Tom as one of his first customers back in 2004 while he was in charge of Mitsukoshi’s Hawaii operations from 2001-2006. A 20+ year veteran with Mitsukoshi Japan most recently Head Buyer of luxury brands, Yasuo recently decided to quit his career and move back to Hawaii to join the Leather Soul family.
A “shoe maniac,” Yasuo’s current collection includes over 130 pairs of fine shoes, specifically 75 pairs of Aldens, his favorite brand. He hopes to collect 200 pairs of Aldens one day. His collection will no doubt increase rapidly while a member of the LS family.
Ken joined Leather Soul in 2009. Since 1991, Ken has worked overseas in Japan and Thailand, as a director and consultant for companies dealing with Japanese companies such as Toyota. Before joining Leather Soul, Ken was a top salesperson at Tourneau.
Having lived in Japan for many years, Ken is fluent in the Japanese language. Ken is LSW’s resident shoe collector and karaoke king.
Oki was born and raised on Oahu’s West side. He is happily married (15 years) with four beautiful children.
Prior to joining Leather Soul in 2011, Oki was in the watch industry for 18+ years. During that time he has learned all aspects of the watch retail business including repair, management, customer service, and sales.
The art of watchmaking fascinates him, so the art of shoemaking is “something I can really appreciate.”
Oki is also an avid surfer having been riding Hawaii’s waves since he could walk.
Laurence is Leather Soul’s longest tenured staff member, joining Leather Soul back in 2005 to help man the first Waikiki store. He is a long time Waikiki retail veteran with experience at Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Tiffany’s.
Laurence’s calm and relaxed demeanor helps to make working with him a comfortable and pleasant experience. He is also well versed in the Japanese language.
The youngest member of the LS family, Justin, is the Store Manager and Assistant Buyer of Leather Soul Downtown. With previous experience at Prada and Kicks HI, Justin brings both experience and passion for shoes and fashion to Leather Soul.
Justin has an acute interest in photography and appreciates all tiers of fashion, from street fashion all the way up to runway. He enjoys traveling and art.
Originally from the Philippines, Joel has lived in the Los Angeles area for 30 years and has worked in Beverly Hills for Church’s Shoes as well as distinguished English shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser. The consummate sales professional, Joel prides himself on customer service.
When he is not working, Joel enjoys relaxing and spending time with his family.
The Son of our very own Joel Santos, Joseph joins Leather Soul after a 7 year career at Sak’s Beverly Hills. Joseph is currently attending Cal Poly Pomona, majoring in graphic design. He is interested in all types of art but particularly in photography, surrealism, and street art. “J2.0″ is also a sneaker enthusiast at heart.
Will and Tom have been “brothers” since they first met in junior high school at Iolani School. After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in computer technology, Will spent over 10 years as a business analyst for international as well as local companies.
Will’s hobbies include modifying cars, traveling the world, and playing basketball. He has an acute interest in watches. His shoe collection is quite impressive, consisting of many pairs of our high end shoes as well as collectable “kicks.”