Noritaka Tatehana Exclusive Interview

November 03, 2015 10:00 AM

The talented young Japanese designer, Noritaka Tatehana, who collaborated with Iris Van Herpen to design Lady Gaga’s shoes.

Today, Lady Gaga is probably one of the most famous pop artist of the 21st century. Regarding Lady Gaga’s style, the “heelless shoe” could possibly be considered one of her most well-known and iconic accessories. Did you know that the person who created Lady Gaga’s iconic “heelless shoes” was just young 24-year-old Japanese designer named Noritaka Tatehana at that time?

On March 10th, 2015 Noritaka Tatehana unveiled his stunningly unconventional 3D crystal shoes at the collaborative show between himself and Iris Van Herpen at the Fall/Winter Paris Fashion Week Collection. These works of art/shoes have his signature lack of a heel and thrusting crystals as the platform. Recently, TWELV asked Mr. Tatehana about this collaboration with the Holland fashion brand, Iris Van Herpen which is known for its unique and futuristic design.

 

 

 ---------- Noritaka Tatehana's Interview ----------

 

1. What was the beginning of this collaboration with Iris Van Herpen?

I’d never meet her before, but I knew of her. I was thinking that our direction for the brand is quite similar and we also have a mutual friend, Daphne Guinness, so I’ve always been thinking that if we were to do something together, it would be really interesting.

One day, she came to Japan for the event of a collaboration with Dom Perignon, and I was also invited the event, so I said hello. Then she asked to collaborate with me. So that was the beginning of this collaboration and I am very happy that I was able to be a part of it.

 

2. Was it time-consuming to produce the crystal shoes for the runway?

Honestly, that was incredibly hard work. When I normally make the shoes, I don’t fill the inside of platform with material, so usually the inside is empty. However, for this time, it didn’t look bright and clear if I made it like that. That’s why I had to fill the inside of platform with the material. It meant the shoes would be really heavy, so I had to think about two things at the same time: confortance and function. It was because of the models that they worked on the runway!

 

3. What were the good points of collaborating with her?

The greatest thing for me was that I could stimulate the young designers because of this collaboration at Paris collection. In most cases, a lot of young Japanese designers can’t go to Paris Fashion Week on their own ability, they need a sponsor or something. I didn’t want to go that way. I wanted to go to that kind of stage by myself, so I think that was the greatest thing, that I could do this with no support. Actually, I think collaborating with a foreigner designer like this time is surely spreads the world.

 

4. What’s your inspiration for usual shoes making?

I was born in 1985, so that was about 40 years after the world war. It means that there were so many histories that I didn’t know. The Japan of today required so many turning points like Meiji-Ishin, the revolution of the Emperor, and a World War.

And our generation didn’t know that, right? So we live without knowing about these histories and when I became artist with this job, I realized that artists especially need a sociability. “Sociability” means not only thinking about oneself, but also society as a whole. For example, thinking of the position of Japan in this world, or thinking of one’s position in Japan, and thinking what one should do. Artists need to have this kind of consciousness. Ultimately, I felt that the thing that I couldn’t choose was my fate; like to be born as a man, or to be born in Japan or something like that. Then, I decided to learn about it, about “the background of my background”. So perhaps inspiration might come from in my own mind.

 

5. Why do you think Japanese culture is important to you?

The main reason is that “I cannot choose my nationality.” Being Japanese, this could be my destiny, or it could be a necessity. I was too familiar with Japanese culture to tell the difference between views from foreigners seeing the Japanese and views from Japanese people seeing themselves when I was in Japan. After I stepped out of Japan, I felt that foreigners think that the Japanese are inspired by their own culture. For instance, in Japan, European-style goods are very popular because they are unique in Japan. In other words, I guess the identity of the country is really important.

 

6. How were you inspired by Oiran?

In university, I was studying about the Kimono as traditional Japanese fashion. However, there are many different types of Kimono: for citizens, for feudal lords, etc. Oiran fashion was really avant-garde at that time in Japan, and I was studying fashion which was tricky and eye-catching. So it quite matched with what I was seeking. I think it’s the same as young girls wearing Jeremy Scott to intimate Katy Perry.

 

7. You said that you want to be seen as a craftsman, more than to be considered an artist. To you, what’s the difference between them?

Now I don’t do every process from start to the end when I make shoes, but I have a feeling that I always want to be a craftsman. If I stop making the shoes with my hands, there will be so many things that I can’t comprehend for real. For instance, when I say “let’s make this shoe with this material” without knowing about the function, it doesn’t come out right. That’s meaningless. Because of this reason, I prefer to keep being a craftsman. And I think this is also good point of Japan too. For example there are many famous Japanese manufactures like the auto-mobile maker, Honda and the instrument maker, KAWAI whose founders were all craftsmen. A lot of Japanese people don’t know this story, but these companies support this country with great achievement. And the CEO of famous companies like these in Japan are usually creators and craftsmen. Of course, I have to go for the business side sometimes, but I always want to be a craftsman because I want support Japanese industry like them. But my mind might be an artist all the time.

 

8. What is your ultimate goal?

I felt that being an artist seems a really personal job, but it actually really isn’t a personal job. I felt this way after I started to work as an artist professionally. This is my life, but an artist's job is reflecting the era at that time. Their artwork should link to their mind and what’s happening at that time in their country, and I think artists need to make it work during the changes in periods. Speaking of my own experience, 2010 was a turning point in Japanese fashion. The changes in the era and artists should be linked to historical events happening, like world affairs or natural disasters.

My work is collected by a lot of museums, but museums are where human history is stored. For example, Strawberry Fields by Yoko Ono, this kind of creation has a message worth remembering. I don’t know when I will die, so I think my mission is to form the era exactly and then to turn it over to the next generation because I feel I’m required to do this kind of thing.

 

9. You always had a dream to work around the world. Do you feel that your life is exactly what you wanted now?

Because I wanted to work around the world, I had a specific vision and I did complete each objective one by one.

So almost everything is exactly as I wanted. Now I can do what I wanted, and I am more successful than I could have imagined, and I don’t feel that I have failed more than I expected. I suppose that preparation is really important. I’m glad that I kept continuing with what I wanted. When I didn't pass the university entrance exam, my grandmother said “Quit. You have no talent.” But I didn’t quit at that time and I think that was great decision. You have to decide your way by yourself. That is the most important thing in life.

 

10. Please leave a message to young boys and girls.

I don’t want them to imitate, but use. I mean I was the one who really imitated society, so I was thinking that I will be the top because I don’t want to be thought as the same designer as that one who I don’t think great. But when you imitate something, it’s when you are jealous for it at the same time. So I guess if there are some people who imitate me because I showed in Paris Fashion Week this time, I don’t want them to imitate, but to look closer. In other words, I hope they use my experience as a tool and study. This time, I worked with foreign people and I could attend Paris Fashion Week in the end. With this opportunity, I think I could show the same things as they do.

I had times when I was really imitating society, but when I try to out to the world, the people who I referred to were predecessors like Issei Miyake, Takashi Murakami, and many other successful people. I think I wouldn’t be successful if they did not exist. So in order to see as a reference, I want young designers to use my work as a case study. I can say anything like “hang in there with big dream!” or something. If I can provide something, it will be this kind of information. That would be the most influential information I guess.

 

 

INTERVIEWED & WRITTEN BY: MARIE ABE

PHOTO CREDIT: NORITAKA TATEHANA, TEAM PETER STIGTER, MORGAN O'DONOVAN

EDIT BY: SUSAN SCHELL

 

 

related posts

TOM PECHEUX INTERVIEW

TWELV got a special interview from Tom Pecheux. Read as we host interviews and explore the lives of artists who shape the final product - directors, fashion designers, stylists, ...

August 20, 2019 3:17 PM  |  People

ANTHONY VACCARELLO INTERVIEW

Anthony Vaccarello was considered as one of the brightest new talent in fashion: he was part of this new generation of talents the whole industry has kept an eye on to see them grow, to see them...

July 24, 2019 12:03 AM  |  People

Why is Everyone in Hollywood Buzzing About Actress Malgosia Garnys?

Have you ever felt like you were beautiful and powerful and the universe was conspiring in your best interest, and your opportunities were endless because you’ve lost people you loved...

March 02, 2019 10:00 PM  |  People

R.I.P Chek Wu

We at TWELV are deeply saddened to announce the passing of talented photographer, boundless free-spirit, and our friend, Chek Wu.

November 28, 2018 12:00 PM  |  People

GatherNYC: Everything We Love About Church With No Weird Stuff

GatherNYC is Everything We Love About Sunday Service With None of the Weird Stuff

 

November 17, 2018 3:00 PM  |  People

NEW TYPE #33: Catherine Casias Inteview

If fashion is an expression of experiences, Catherine Casias has a lot of area to cover. She has excelled as an Olympic volleyball player, a philosophy major, and a fine artist....

October 12, 2018 4:00 PM  |  People

Party Czar Carmen D’Alessio, Empress of the Sun and the Queen of the Night

You may not know Carmen D’Alessio by name.

October 08, 2018 10:00 PM  |  People
Shot by CHAMA

IKEMEN #39: JORDAN HENRIQUEZ

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

August 28, 2018 5:00 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #38: WARREN KAY

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

August 07, 2018 5:00 PM  |  People

NEW TYPE #32: ALEXANDER ROYS INTERVIEW

"Introducing an innovative Men’s designer to inspire you with the visions of future and the rise of technology."

June 26, 2018 4:00 PM  |  People
Silvia Mella (right) with Thomas De Bruyne for "House of Molteni"

Branding in the Worlds of Art and Commerce According to Silvia Mella

Branding is everything. For an entrepreneur, it is the difference between viability and bankruptcy. On social media, we are all our own brands.

May 21, 2018 4:00 PM  |  People
Jackie Yang, Creative Director of Chelsea and Walker. Video Still.

Interview: Jackie Yang, Creative Director of Chelsea and Walker

TWELV sat down with Jackie Yang, Creative Director of Chelsea and Walker, in the brand’s New York City...

May 21, 2018 2:00 PM  |  People
Krystal and Marilyn Lavoie

New Type #31: Angela Mitchell – Krystal and Marilyn Lavoie Interview

We are living in the age of fast fashion, and even Europe’s most storied luxury brands have been moving their factories to Asia to reduce costs.

May 17, 2018 3:00 PM  |  People

Ikemen #37: Dominik Halas

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

May 03, 2018 12:00 PM  |  People
Bianca Allen, Carolina Sarria, and Samantha Deller

New Type #30: Carolina Sarria & Bianca Allen Interview

Both Carolina Sarria and Bianca Allen knew they wanted to become fashion designers from a young age.

April 16, 2018 5:00 PM  |  People

Interview & Backstage: Christian Siriano Celebrates 10 Years in Fashion

After the successful launch of his book Dresses to Dream About, a decade-anniversary celebration on the runway, and a whirlwind of striking celebrity looks on the red carpet of...

March 09, 2018 11:00 AM  |  People
Jackie Astier. Photo: BFA.

New Type #29: Jackie Astier Interview

Astier places its identity within the advanced adaptation skills of the modern New York woman.

February 24, 2018 11:00 AM  |  People

INTERVIEW: Meet Kiko Arai, Miss Japan-turned Face of Balmain and Zara

Kiko Arai hails from Osaka, Japan, and after winning the title of Miss Japan 2012, the now 27-year old is captivating a new audience– the fashion world.

February 06, 2018 12:11 AM  |  People

Interview: Parisian Designer Frédéric Robert's Debut Shoe Collection "ME.LAND"

A vibrant brand of Italian-made shoes for men is emerging this year as one-to-watch.

January 26, 2018 10:00 AM  |  People
Maxime Tiliouine and Quentin Hernandez

New Type #28: the Design Duo Behind Maxime Hernandez Interview

The streetwear phenomenon in the fashion establishment is not slowing down anytime soon.

January 12, 2018 2:00 PM  |  People

MICHEL NAFZIGER INTERVIEW

With a wealth of experience shooting some for some of fashion's most renowned clients (Yves Saint Laurent, Guy Laroche), ...

December 29, 2017 2:00 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #36: Jérôme LaMaar

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

November 27, 2017 12:00 PM  |  People
Alcone Backstage Set Designed by Roger Padilha. Photo: Santiago Felipe.

Alcone 65th Anniversary @Capitale: Interview with CEO Maria Stewart

No make-up company has a more storied history firmly ensconced in New York showbiz.

November 13, 2017 4:00 PM  |  People

Ikemen #35: Zaher Saleh

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

October 31, 2017 5:00 PM  |  People
Keith Kattner

Interview: Neurosurgeon-turned-Artist Keith Kattner on the Surgery of Classical Painting

Dr. Keith Kattner does not have the typical background one would expect of a successful neurosurgeon.

October 25, 2017 4:00 PM  |  People

New Type #27: Nika Tang Interview

San Fransisco-based designer Nika Tang has emerged as boldly committed to her ideology as to her pieces. Her namesake brand centers...

October 06, 2017 11:00 AM  |  People

TWELV ARCHIVE JOE McKenna INTERVIEW "Call Me Joe"

CALL ME JOE

October 04, 2017 4:00 PM  |  People

Interview: Becky Donnelly's Fashion Creatures

Quirky girl from Dublin with a penchant for drawing fantasy creatures relocates to London after art school.

October 02, 2017 12:00 PM  |  People

New Type #26: Herman – Raif Adelberg Interview

Authenticity.

September 29, 2017 11:00 AM  |  People
Brooke Candy & Kaimin. Photo: Mark Hunter

Kaimin Interview & S/S18 "Slut from the Future" Presentation @ the Top of the Standard

Pulsing with a heavy beat and hazy with a deep rouge glow, the Top of the Standard is as glamorous a place to be as ever. And tonight it is packed with partygoers.

September 28, 2017 10:00 AM  |  People

Yasmina Alaoui Interview & Opera Gallery Exhibition

Yasmina Alaoui burst onto the international arts scene in 2003 with "Tales of Beauty," a collection of nude...

September 11, 2017 5:00 PM  |  People
Søren Solkær

Søren Solkær Interview

Stepping out of a cab into the urban symphony of Midtown, the entryway to The Quin Hotel was easy to spot— with classic architecture and...

September 11, 2017 10:00 AM  |  People

Kyra Ross of Mona Liza Studios Interview

TWELV sat down with the charismatic Kyra Ross, founder of Mona Liza Studios which falls under his larger moniker "...

August 28, 2017 11:00 AM  |  People
Photo by Giorgio Codazzi for Gioia Magazine

Ira Sumbaeva Interview

TWELV sits down with model Ira Sumbaeva to give a glimpse into the story of the cutest Belarusian...

August 25, 2017 8:00 AM  |  People

Benjamin Shine Interview: Master of Tulle

Benjamin Shine is an award-winning international artist whose work stretches across industries from fashion...

August 16, 2017 4:00 PM  |  People

Pages

SITE BY: monocomplex©Marbles & Marbles International Inc. Drupal Development by: DivDiv, NYC
▲ back to top ▲