Ajisai Kimono embraces an East-meets-West philosophy to create a modern and casual style by reworking and altering carefully selected vintage traditional kimonos.
Each kimono is individually selected for its high quality fabrics, traditional techniques, and timeless designs that never go out of style. Each piece is a work of art.
Moreover, the kimonos represent the slow fashion ethos. Whereas the majority of items sold today are disposable and excessively produced for the sake of corporate profit, each Ajisai Kimono is handmade from natural fibers and produced to be worn until the end of its organic lifecycle. By fixing, altering, and wearing these beautiful vintage pieces, we are giving them a new life, reducing waste and supporting a sustainable lifestyle to protect our mother earth.
I get asked this question quite often with customers, "Is it culturally inappropriate for me to wear a kimono out in public? Will I offend anyone?"
I'm happy that people are being so conscientious. If your goal is to wear the kimono in the traditional way (i.e at a Japanese wedding or funeral) I would suggest doing the necessary research before wearing the piece, as traditional kimono culture has its own etiquette.
However, I also explain to them that wearing a kimono in the non-traditional way is actually growing even in Japan among young people. Whether it be Japanese food, anime, art, sports, or clothing, we are happy to see our culture inspiring other people around the world. Tradition is important, it shapes who we are, but progress is equally important.
By fixing and altering these beautiful vintage pieces, they are given a new life.
Together, we are able to bridge the gap between East and West as well as tradition and modernity.
I was born in Tokyo, raised in Australia, and currently live in Canada. I was raised to be environmentally conscious in all aspects of my life.
My love for fabrics and clothing started at an early age, as my mother was a talented textile designer. The vivid colors and natural smells of the dyeing room, the elaborate fabrics and tapestries, and the gigantic weaving loom that beautifully occupied my childhood living room all filled me with awe and wonder. In such a creative environment, I was encouraged to make, alter, and fix things—especially clothing—on my own for as long as I can remember.
At the age of 18, I moved from Australia to Japan to pursue a career as a professional musician. As a musician in the Tokyo music scene, fashion played an important role in showcasing my artistic identity. It was at this stage in my life that I realized the true beauty of kimonos. Images of my mother making kimonos from scratch returned, and I truly appreciated the quality and intricacy of these garments. I noticed how so many beautiful vintage kimonos had sat untouched for decades due to a westernization of fashion and the takeover of fast-fashion corporations.
Now I focus on bringing quality vintage kimonos back to life and reinterpreting traditional kimono culture.