Kimonono was founded in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, where the original kimono garment was born and perfected.
I was born in Kyoto to a family who had lived in the city for generations. Like many other families with roots in the city, I saw and admired the room full of stunning kimono my grandmother would store neatly in her kimono cabinets. Kimono was worn for special occasions - ceremonies, weddings, but also in a more casual setting as weekend shopping or on a family outing. No matter what the setting, I would remember the elegance I would feel in the air everytime a kimono was worn.
I was fortunate enough to be raised, study and work in different countries throughout my youth and adulthood - New York, Toronto, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo. I lived a modern and fast paced lifestyle but Kyoto was always in my mind and heart.
After leaving my career in Investment Banking I ended up settling back in Kyoto opening 2 specially coffee shops locally and in Singapore. It was at this time both my grandparents had passed away, and what was left were beautiful momentos including the kimono's I remembered as a child.
In modern day Japan, I’ve seen so many situations kimono's have become more of a nuisance easily thrown away or sold at an incredible low price in markets. To be fair, kimonos don’t translate well in the modern, westernised Japan. They take effort to learn to wear, can be heavy and uncomfortable, and just don’t fit with contemporary fashion.
Although I understood the decline of the kimono, I believe having an international background has given me a different perspective and appreciation of it. I felt that what was left from my grandparents, and the past generation of Kyoto was an opportunity to create sometime to be passed down to the generation which comes after.
Using kimono from my grandmother's old wardrobe, we worked for a year to perfect, design and re-brand what was left to us into a new fashion item. Kimonono was born.
Through Kimonono we want to preserve the proud elegance of the kimono with this nearly forgotten art of living in its timeless style for the modern world. Vintage kimono material, some which were handed down from our family tree and others which we were fortunate enough to come across in Kyoto are re-purposed into thoughtful patterns to create a one of a kind bow tie and assesories for the everyday lifestyle.
Each item is individually handcrafted by local Kyoto artisans, and no two patterns are exactly the same.
Let’s embrace and spread the art and elegance of Japanese kimono through Kimonono.