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LiveStudio: Noritaka Tatehana

published on 11 September 2014

Shoemaker Noritaka Tatehana took up residence at SHOWstudio to craft his signature shoes, while discussing his work and process with Niamh White and the live stream audience.

Shoemaker Noritaka Tatehana took up residence at SHOWstudio to craft his signature shoes, while discussing his work and process with Niamh White and the live stream audience.

LIVE STREAM Q&A

9 SEP 2014. 16:32

Q. Since your very first collaborations with Daphne and Lady Gaga there have been an increased number of heelless designs by other designers. How do you feel about imitating and borrowing ideas? Greetings from Finland :) Love J
A. I find it really flattering. It's like getting a gold medal to see others appropriating my designs.

9 SEP 2014. 14:39

Q. Noritka is a visionary. It's so exciting to have him in London. Where are his shoes stocked, and how can I order a pair?
A. Each pair is made to order, and you can purchase them through SHOWstudio Shop!

9 SEP 2014. 13:55

Q. You've decided to unveil your practice for the first time in SHOWstudio's live studio. Why is now the right occasion/right moment?
A. I make art, sculpture and design, which all feature in the exhibition at SHOWstudio, so I feel like keeping the process a secret is not so important. I am more interested in sharing ideas now. 

9 SEP 2014. 13:32

Q. Have you considered creating a 'new age' mens footwear like you have created for women? The women have all the fun!
A. I do have some male customers! So yes, I do create shoes for men too. But I think mostly people see them on women such as Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga.

9 SEP 2014. 13:16

Q. Hello Mr. Tatehana, is there anything you don't like about today's fashion industry? Can you give any advices for young designers who want to apply for a job? Kind regards, Andreas
A. The fashion industry is very business oriented and the main focus is on mass production. Each of my shoes are made to order, by hand, by me! It's the opposite way of working. I would like to maintain this in my brand. I would say that perseverance is really important for young designers. And to always set yourself new challenges.

9 SEP 2014. 10:57

Q. Do you ever design shoes for yourself?
A. Not really. I am very much a contemporary fashion customer though! I try to stay very knowledgeable about everything that is happening in fashion and what different designers are doing.

9 SEP 2014. 10:42

Q. Are there any movements or a particular era that has inspired your work?
A. The Meiji period in Japan is my main source of inspiration. It was a significant time when Japan established itself as being home to the finest crafts people in the world. At this time, people were prohibited from wearing swords in public, and so the people who made them directed their skills to other objects and artworks. It was a very revolutionary time. There was also the Paris exposition where Japanese craft was exposed to the outside world for the first time.

9 SEP 2014. 10:30

Q. What does the absence of the heel represent?
A. I did not really mean to make the heel absent. I am more interested in creating innovative design. The heel-less shoe is more about aesthetics. The design is inspired by traditional Japanese footwear, but I have tried to make them relevant for a contemporary audience. I want to create something new and eye catching, the new silhouette is very important for me.

8 SEP 2014. 23:30

Q. Until when is the exhibition?
A. The exhibition opens to the public 11 September and runs through until 7 November. It is being held at SHOWstudio, 19 Motcomb Street, London.

8 SEP 2014. 22:44

Q. Is there a type of woman either in modern society or historically that you are inspired by or base your designs around? If so, who is the Noritaka woman?
A. The first woman I was inspired by was my mother. I became interested in the Oiran (high ranking courtesans from Edo and Meiji periods in Japan) when I was at university. Now, I am very inspired by my customers. Especially Daphne Guinness.

8 SEP 2014. 22:06

Q. How long did it take to get the proportions of the shoe absolutely right?
A. The development is still ongoing! The design hasn't changed dramatically since I graduated, but I am constantly adapting it. Wearability and aesthetics go hand in hand with my designs. I want people to be able to wear them, but also not have to compromise on how they look.

8 SEP 2014. 18:10

Q. Did you ever look to the anatomical structure of hoofed animals to support the ergonomics of your design?
A. Yes, absolutely. My university was next to a famous zoo in Tokyo so I studied the anatomy of lots of different types of animals while I was developing my designs. I looked particularly at horses, cats and dogs!

Interview by:
Live Stream Supervision:
Vision Mixing:
Toni Hollowood
Camera Assistance:
Andrew Smith and Campbell Addy

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