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AP Interview: Japan inspires Gaga's shoe designer
AP Interview: Japanese creator of Lady Gaga's towering shoes says geisha footwear inspired him
By The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) ' A Japanese shoe designer has become a pop diva's favorite by taking geisha and making it Gaga.

Noritaka Tatehana is the man behind Lady Gaga's towering, cloglike shoes, which have no heels and are up to 46 centimeters (18 inches) tall. The 26-year-old tells The Associated Press that his heritage inspires him.

He says he took the traditional "geta" shoes of geishas and made a modern form with his sculptural platforms. He's made more than 20 pairs for Lady Gaga.

Tatehana studied traditional weaving and kimono dyeing and says he wants to help keep Japanese culture alive.

He was a student when his career took off. He sent dozens of emails in English to start his fashion brand and received just three responses, but one was from Gaga's stylist.

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