There are shoes, and then there are SHOES; dainty little works of art that adorn your feet, turning heads as you walk by and acting as conversation starters with complete strangers. In Japan, of course, fashion gets taken to the next level of cuteness and never more so than with the new range of My Melody showstoppers from Sanrio.
I’ve always been a little confused by high heels. It’s partially because I’m not so tall myself and don’t really have much of a height advantage to spare (even if my date is wearing flats), and partially because if I’m looking at a woman there are probably enough other things that are going to attract my gaze that she’s likely to ask me to stop staring at her long before I get to her shoes, no matter how nice they may look.
High heels seem like an even odder choice in Japan, where the reliance on public transportation means walking around for long stretches of time in shoes where comfort and mobility seem to have been afterthoughts in the design process. Still, many women in Japan step out in high heels as part of their plan to present a femininely fashionable or snappy professional image. Now, one Japanese designer is trying to help those women not only look good, but help their feet feel good as well with a revolutionary ergonomic redesign of high heels.
Before we had bags in Japan, we used furoshiki — elegant cloths that come in various colors and decorative patterns that can be used to wrap and carry various items. While you don’t really see them in daily use now, furoshiki are quite useful in their own way, as they can be folded and tied in different ways and be used to wrap items of varying shapes and sizes, in addition to being eco-friendly.
But it turns out that the traditional cloths have recently served as the inspiration for a completely new and unexpected product — Furoshiki Shoes that wrap around your feet!
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have announced the arrest of one Shochi Nagata for allegedly sending an email to a woman in her 30s containing photos of herself along with pictures of her shoes and underwear which he had stolen, together with the caption: “I’ve just snatched your treasures.”
Further investigation is also hinting that the suspect was in the possession of a veritable bounty of other women’s “treasures” as well, making him something of a modern-day pervy One-Eyed Willie.
We recently reported on the exciting Star Wars Visions exhibit currently being held at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo and showed you some charming exclusive Star Wars themed goods available there. Today, we thought we’d follow through with an article featuring a plush and comfortable Star Wars fashion item that you may be able to purchase even if you’re not anywhere near Roppongi.
Say hello to the Star Wars Special Edition Collection of shoes from international fashion brand UGG, and they’re inspired by one of our favorite villains of all times, Darth Vader! Yes, that certainly caught our attention, because … well, they’re Darth Vader shoes — how could they not be cool, right?
Recently, we brought you the news that you can now view an online animated sketchbook version of works by famous Japanese Ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. But what if you’re not content just looking at beautiful art online? What if you could see it every time you look down at your feet? Well, with these awesome printed sneakers from TeeFury.com, you can get some culture into your wardrobe while still looking cool!
Oh, and as an added bonus, they’ve stuck Godzilla’s ugly monster mush into the design, too!
You could argue that it’s silly for the heroines of Sailor Moon to wear heels, seeing as how, like clockwork, they’re required to head into battle against dangerous monsters once a week. But while the Sailor Senshi are the defenders of humanity, they’re also five fashionable young girls, so you can see how they (or series creator Naoko Takeuchi) would be reluctant to go with, say, combat boots instead.
If you’re a Sailor Moon fan living in the real world, though, fighting evil probably doesn’t figure into your footwear choices, leaving you free to step out in these heels inspired by the Sailor Senshi, or the sensible flats modeled after their feline mentor Luna.
Last month, we took a look at a pair of kicks from anime fashion retailer Super Groupies and shoemaker Ubiq featuring Mega Man, the super fighting robot that’s loved by everyone (except video game publisher Capcom, it seems). But while the Mega Man shoes are actually pretty unisex in design, this month Super Groupies and Ubiq ae teaming up again with footwear that’s just for the ladies, with sailor-collared sneakers inspired by anime and manga Cardcaptor Sakura, and a dazzling necklace too for fans of the magical girl.
While some video game characters have settled into more or less permanent relationships with their publishers, like Nintendo’s Mario or Bandai Namco’s Kazuya and Heihachi Mishima, not every digital hero gets to enjoy a never-ending string of sequel appearances. For example, it’s been five years since the release of Mega Man 10, which so far serves as the final installment in the action platforming series.
But the Blue Bomber’s memory lives on in the hearts and minds of the many fans he acquired during his salad days following his 1987 debut. So even if publisher Capcom has kicked Mega Man to the curb, you can still show your love for the character with these retro-cool Mega Man kicks.
Shoemaker Nike owes its success as much to the marketing that backs its footwear as the science behind it. But as one of the biggest athletic apparel companies on the planet, the Nike swoosh is hardly a rare sight these days, so if the Oregon-based company really wants to catch people’s eyes, it has to get a little more flamboyant with its designs.
That’s as true in emerging markets as it is in established ones, which is why Nike’s new pair of kicks made especially for China might be the wildest the company has ever made, and come packed with all sorts of imagery meant to make sure fortune smiles on theirs wearers while everyone is looking at their feet.
With her many collaborations with a multitude of designers and brands, it seems like Hello Kitty has merchandise for just about everyone. But while the range from cheap Kitty-chan trinkets to premium luxury items means Japan’s most famous 2-D cat has covered the demographics of both young and old as well as rich and poor, things are a little bit less balanced when it comes to the catalogue of Hello Kitty tie-ins for men versus those for women.
The ever-industrious Kitty is looking to make things a little more even, though, and last year corporate parent Sanrio announced the Hello Kitty Men Project. As part of the initiative, this month fashionable dudes in one fashionable Tokyo neighborhood can get their hands on three new Hello Kitty items made just for men.
Mexican clothing company Heredia Clothing has been promoting their line-up of Dragon Ball Z sneakers for a few months now, but fans heading to Expo TNT on January 31-February 1 in Guadalajara can also get their kicks autographed by the original Mexican voice actors for Goku and Vegeta, Mario Castañeda and Rene Garcia.
Cardcaptor Sakura is in the midst of a revival right now. We’re not sure what’s sparked the renewed interest in creative team Clamp’s magical girl franchise, as we’re still a year away from the manga’s 20th anniversary, and three years from that mark for its anime adaptation.
Still, plucky elementary school student and protagonist Sakura Kinomoto seems to be popping up more and more these days. A recent poll of anime fans named Cardcaptor Sakura the series they most want rerun on TV, and just last month we saw the release of a collection of cosmetics based on it. Now, in the latest round of new goodies, you can pair your manga makeup with some cute and stylish Cardcaptor Sakura shoes.
Whether you’re coming to Japan as a tourist or a new resident, getting into the island nation usually means taking a plane. With luggage space at a premium, odds are you haven’t packed more than two or three pairs of shoes, which is fine for a running start in the country. With all the walking involved in public-transportation-embracing Japan, though, wear and tear are going to set in before long, and you’ll find yourself in need of a new pair of kicks.
Odds are, though, that you didn’t come all the way to Japan to blow your travel budget on new shoes. If you’re just getting started as a working professional here, you’re probably also a little light on cash. So to keep your feet comfortable, outfit stylish, and wallet happy, today we’re taking a trip to one of Tokyo’s best-kept secret bargains, the Tokyo Shoe Distribution Center, to pick up a selection of footwear at less than 990 yen (US$8.40) per pair.
The holidays can be a lonely time if you live alone. Sure, having a little time for yourself is nice and all, but there are only so many nights in a row you can spend silently sipping bourbon and staring out at the falling snow before it starts to become legitimately depressing/arguably alcoholism.
That vacuum of isolation when you step inside, shut the door behind you, and realize you’re totally alone can be a serious downer. So today, we’re sharing an extremely easy life hack to, even if just for a second, make you feel like instead of coming home to an empty apartment, you’ve got a group of friends waiting for you.
While every Studio Ghibli anime film has memorable music, the one piece that just about anyone in Japan can sing along to is “Sanpo” from My Neighbor Totoro. Meaning “A Stroll,” it opens with the lyrics, “Let’s walk! Let’s walk! I’m full of energy. Let’s keep going!”
Not exactly the most profound message, admittedly, but there’s no denying the infectious tune will get you in the mood to strap on your kicks and head out the door. And if you’re going on a walk to look for your very own local forest spirit, we can’t imagine a more appropriate set of footwear than a pair of shoes decked out with Ghibli characters.
Barbie, the popular fashion doll from America, has been a style icon ever since her creation back in 1959. Now, at the age of 55, the controversial bombshell is hitting the streets of Harajuku – quite literally – this time inside the clear soles of some amazing, if kind of creepy, shoes.
While most popular sports anime are about baseball or soccer, creator Takehiko Inoue’s basketball story Slam Dunk is one of the most popular series of all time. Beginning as a manga in 1990 before making the leap to animation in 1993, Slam Dunk played a huge role in boosting basketball’s popularity in Japan.
Slam Dunk’s print and TV run also coincided with four of NBA legend Michael Jordan’s professional championships. Now, the two icons are teaming up with Nike to bring sneaker fans Slam Dunk Air Jordans.
As many of you know, Japan maintains a strong sense of uchi and soto, or inside/in-group and outside/out-group. As part of that culture, all people, young and old, are made to change their shoes upon entering most buildings and homes. Students, especially elementary school students, get a special pair of indoor shoes called uwabaki, often called “hallway slippers,” for use while inside the school building. Much like the trendiness of Japanese elementary school backpacks, uwabaki are being seen out on the streets on the feet of fashion-forward women. But are elementary school indoor shoes really that fashionable? You’d be surprised!