Perhaps some of you may know that a little kimono boom has been occurring among foreign visitors in Japan. More and more of them enjoy Kimono style especially in areas where you can feel the old Japanese history such as Kyoto and Asakusa.
As a Japanese, I so much fell in love with kimonos and truly wish this beautiful fashion will be wildly known even overseas. Question here is whether non-Japanese people can also enjoy ‘Kimono Style’ as a part of their fashion?
“SUSHI” and “RAMEN” are now popular foods everywhere
Sushi and Ramen are now known very well and popular foods worldwide, but marely couple of decades ago, they used to be said that western people would never eat raw fish or noodle-slurping was not for them. However, as Hollywood celebrities hooked on Sushi, in a few years later it became a sushi boom on the east coast of US such as New York, and now Sushi has established a solid position in the US as a high-end gourmet. While I spent some time in New York several year ago I was surprised that I could eat the same quality Sushi as in Japan. (Also surprised with the price though..it was nearly double than Japan)
As for Ramen, I am not certain how it spread overseas, but if my memory is correct, a popular Ramen chain restaurant, ‘IPPUDO’ opened their first oversea restaurant in Singapore about fifteen years ago and then has been expanded over other East South Asian countries very rapidly in a few years, followed by Europe and the US several years later. There are now three IPPUDO in Manhattan, and on every Friday night New Yorkers are making long queues in the restaurants, waiting for their Ramen. Seems like indulging yourself with Ramen after drinking alcohol is not only for Japanese now.
Also Sake is increasing its popularity overseas as well. I remember that one of the most popular Sake, DASSAI was hard to order due to the shortage of its stocks in restaurants in Manhattan. I feel that Japanese foods are now gaining solid position as a popular gourmet over the boom.
Can Kimono also get a position?
I believe that there is a good chance for it getting more attention and become a popular fashion style. But as you may know, almost no one wears it as a everyday cloth even in Japan. It’s more like a ‘formal dress’ for special occasions such as for parties, theaters and dinners at a nice restaurant. From my perspective, people will enjoy Kimono’s design and print, and love to combine them with their clothes. For example, I found some cardigans with Kimono design on ZARA’s website.
Wrap-around items would go well with Kimono which also wraps around a body in a traditional way of wearing it. Wrap-around dress, cardigans and coats with Kimono patterns would be easy way for everybody to enjoy Kimono as their everyday life. Personally I would love skirt or maxi dress with Kimono print!
What’s happening in Japan?
Do you know that the number of Kimono’s craftsmen have been decreasing in Japan? Weaving and dyeing Kimono fabrics need extremely high skills, but those who have these skills are now very limited across the country and many of them are getting old. As a result, high quality Kimonos are more and more hard to find as production volume is limited and some valuable skills have not been taken over to the next generations.
Again, I love this beautiful art and truly hope this little Kimono boom among foreign visitors in Japan will lead to somewhere good place for Kimono and its craftsmen.
▼Link to Kimono Snap▼