Noritaka Tatehana: Bringing Shoes to (Scary) New Heights

Noritaka Tatehana: Bringing Shoes to (Scary) New Heights

Noritaka Tatehana is a self-taught Japanese designer who started his work at the young age of 15. From dyeing and embossing the leather down to the construction of the shoes, all of the pieces are hand-executed by Tatehana himself.

He recently mastered in Textile Arts and graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts. His career took off the same year when he decided to directly contact Nicola Formichetti, the stylist to the queen who pushes death-defying gravity limits one pair of stilettos at a time– Lady Gaga. The fashion maven has worn Tatehana’s creations on the front of Rolling Stone, on stage, and in her video for Alejandro.

When asked about the impressive heel-less structure that makes his work stand out among the rest, Tatehana disclosed:

“I am interested in history and in the old culture and would like to divert them into modern world. The unique and creative shape comes from “Kan Pokkuri,” which used to be clogs made of empty cans. In the old days, Japanese children used to make these clogs, passing a cord through holes made in the cans. After placing each foot on a can, they tried to walk, holding the cord in their hands.”

The concept quickly became a fashion staple, being utilized by notable couturiers such as Christian Louboutin, Antonio Berardi, and Jeffrey Campbell.

Noritaka’s work  is currently on display at the Trading Museum Comme des Garçons. He continues to fashion his custom works for Gaga and has made them available for purchase at his online web-store for those who have the balls, balance and bucks to brave such heights.

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