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Vincere is a Japanese company known for making high-end hairdressing scissors, crafted with extraordinary attention to detail. “Our scissors are made entirely by hand,” says founder Junzo Miyamoto, a hairdresser who founded Vincere a decade ago. “We create the handle, the blade, then weld it together. We produce them individually, one by one.”

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Hideshi Shioji (left) and Kiyohisa Mizoguchi
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 Hideshi Shioji displays a sheet of the steel from which Vincere’s scissors are produced

The scissors are produced at a modest workshop in the sprawling countryside of the Wakayama Prefecture, Western Japan. The workshop is presided over by scissor maker Hideshi Shioji, who crafts every pair with the help of welder Kiyohisa Mizoguchi. The scissors start their life as a sheet of steel, from which each blade is then individually carved. “We use a cobalt alloy and special powder steel, in Japanese we call it ‘fumatsu-kou’” Shioji explains. “Until now, this special powder steel has never been used to create hairdressing scissors, we’re the first company to use it.”

After being carved from the steel sheet, the blades go through various stages, including welding, sanding and polishing. Once constructed, each pair is rigorously tested and fine-tuned until the blades are ultra-precise, and razor sharp. It is a lengthy and intricate process, and they produce just 600 – 700 pairs a year. A single pair can cost from ¥90000 (£600) to ¥180000 (£1200), depending on the model and materials used.

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Kiyohisa Mizoguchi welding
“The hairdresser uses the scissors for so many hours, it’s important that their hands don’t get tired. Our aim is to create good, comfortable scissors”
Junzo Miyamoto, Vincere founder
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Shoji has been crafting scissors for almost 20 years, and his immense skill makes for a very personalised service. “When Shoji repairs a pair of scissors, he considers that client’s habits,” says Miyamoto. Shoji is also responsible for creating what has become Vincere’s ‘signature’. “The most characteristic part of our scissors is ‘hineri’, a sort of twist,” Miyamoto explains. In this ‘twist’, the blades are hammered on an iron base to ensure that when the scissors are used, the pressure remains equally balanced on all parts of the blade. It’s a process which requires a very skilled hand. “Most hairdressing scissors are made on a wooden base,” Miyamoto says, “when you use an iron base, it can break easily. You need to be very experienced not to break them”.

Vincere scissors are currently available in Japan and Taiwan, with plans to expand to online sales in the near future. Despite this, there aren’t any plans on increasing the number of scissors they produce. “Instead, we focus on producing the highest possible quality,” Miyamoto says. “The hairdresser uses the scissors for so many hours, it’s important that their hands don’t get tired. Our aim is to create good, comfortable scissors.”

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Credits

Interview Gen Itoh & Antonio Celotto
Photography Aris Akritidis Website arisakritidis.com
Words Emma de Clercq
Special Thanks Junzo Miyamoto, Hideshi Shioji, Kiyohisa Mizoguchi

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