Recently, Leandra Medine of manrepeller.com had an interesting post about Japanese fashion week and the street style photos that are coming out of it. (You can read it at http://www.manrepeller.com/2013/03/toky-oky-o-2.html). But Japanese street style has always been a thing, as documented by their magazines like Street and Fruits, which I have subscribed to for years, ever since I visited Tokyo and before the internet provided instant access to similar images that appear in these magazines. As a visitor to this wonderful city, I found endless inspiration for my own style which I can let fly free living in New York. My point is, that the idea of being a Man Repeller is not new. Leandra documents it in her one of a kind sometimes hilarious writing style that makes it fresh, and it is new to her many readers who are younger than me. But the Japanese have been man repelling for years. I read that Yohji Yamamoto started designing “man repelling clothing” after seeing prostitutes and their hypersexualized getups on his street as a young boy. He wanted to show that women did not have to dress that way to be seen as attractive. That stuff immediately appealed to my esthetic, even when I could not afford any of it at the time. I remember walking around Soho in the 70s as a teenager and seeing artists and creative people dressed in oversize black clothes and clumpy black shoes and thinking “this is me!!”.
Which brings me to Unbilical and Belly Button shoes sold by Tokyo Bopper which can be seen on their blog, tokyobopper.com which links to the site that you can buy them from online. I put the site through google translate so I can read it in English and the translation is often very funny. You can thank me for now being able to buy them online without visiting Tokyo because I begged them to sell to me online and they devised a way to do so because they were not set up for e-commerce. Their blog also provides endless inspiration for “what should I wear?” by their super cool staff, my favorite being Yama, as you can see here
A favorite shoe of theirs is the ankle wrap platform ballerina
which is incredibly comfortable and gives me some extra height, which at 5’ 2” I appreciate. Shima is the manager and is very sweet and incredibly helpful with sizing which can be tricky when buying online, especially when converting to Japanese sizes. Just shoot him an email via the e-commerce site.
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Photos courtesy of tokyobopper.com