By  on August 15, 2011

For his graduation project last year at Tokyo University of the Arts, Noritaka Tatehana crafted a pair of shoes that looked like go-go boots for an alien, replete with 10-inch platform soles and a heel-less form that appeared to defy gravity. His professors were less than enthusiastic. “They didn’t see the value,” recalls Tatehana, 26. “The university is very conservative. They do not like the avant-garde, the cutting edge.”

This story first appeared in the August 15, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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