His first US flagship store won't open until October 2011, but Japanese superstar designer Hirooka Naoto, of h. Naoto brought his collection to New People World in San Francisco on Saturday for an exclusive preview. Part runway show, and part discussion group, the event which took place in the Superfrog Gallery was one of the major highlights of the 2011 JPOP Summit Festival.

Attendees at the event whom were either among the local h. Naoto fan base and had spent over $100 in the designer's 2-day pop-up shop, or invited members of the press, were treated to an unprecedented insight into his creative process as the designer walked the crowd through his collection piece by piece. From inspiration to construction all the way down to materials used to create the looks the designer showed a humble willingness to discuss his craft that is a true rarity in the industry today.  

For fans of the label, and fashion writers alike, listening to a designer of this caliber explain his work was a fascinating experience. As Naoto took us through his line from the "Guillotine" jacket with zippers across the throat, to the classic "lolita" dresses each piece began to resonate with more meaning than a simple viewing could afford, and made the show quite simply the single best fashion event we have seen in San Francisco.  

All images: S.Whittle for Style Wylde

The h. Naoto pop-up shop will be open through Sunday evening at New People World on Post Street. For more information about the designer check out the exclusive Style Wylde interview here; and visit the designer's official home page

For more information on the 2011 JPOP Summit Festival visit New People World.