Japanese Shoe Designer is Gaga’s Favorite
A Japanese shoe designer has become the favorite of the pop diva for taking the shoes of the geisha and turn it into something Gaga.
Noritaka Tatehana is the man behind the huge Lady Gaga shoes that have no heel but has a height between 25 and 46 centimeters (10 to 18 inches). Her performances on TV shows and music videos, showed Tatehana’s creations thay have helped him become a star of fashion shoes which sells for more than 15 thousand dollars a pair. Tatehana, who has over 20 pairs for Lady Gaga in the last two years, said he took the traditional geisha shoes called “geta” and changed to a modern sculptural platforms.
“My work became an icon. It worked not only as a mark for me, but it became part of Lady Gaga, “said Tatehana in a recent interview in his studio in Tokyo, which is full of art books and characteristic shoes. Some of his shoes are decorated with sparkling Swarovski crystals and others with golden buttons.
The 26-year-old designer, recalls the reflective character of a monk with his voice low, long hair in a bun and baggy pants, when he was still a student when his career took off. In fact, the first shoes Tatehana designed for Lady Gaga was the subject of his graduation thesis at the prestigious University of the Arts in Tokyo, where he learned traditional weaving and dyeing of kimonos. He created shoes with a pink leather-like reptile taken from a stingray, a common material in Japanese crafts to decorate swords.
Noritaka Tatehana began his fashion label featuring footwear in an e-mail, where he sent to dozens of people in the design industry. But, he received only three replies, one from a blogger, a journalist and another from Lady Gaga’s stylist. The singer was unavailable for comment. The fashion guru and brewery heiress, Daphne Guinness, said she is a big fan of Tatehana. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the Museum of the Institute of Fashion Technology in New York, who has exhibited Tatehana work, said she expects the designer to create a less expensive line.
“Noritaka Tatehana is one of the most important footwear designers of our time,” she said. “His amazing and breathtaking designs without heels have transformed the style of the shoes.” The bespoke shoes look very uncomfortable, even Lady Gaga has lost his balance with some higher designs.
The singer has also used another eccentric designer shoes such as heels shaped like lobster claws by Alexander McQueen. Tatehana said his shoes are in fact more comfortable than regular heels because they put the weight of the person who carries it on the front, and not in the heel. He said he can even run in them. Tatehana said he would like to enlarge his creations to clothes, bags or working in costume design for movies. He also wants to help spread the heritage of his country.
“I want the Japanese culture to still be alive and have respect for it internationally,” said Tatehana. “Creativity is what defines the strength of a nation.”