Hello everyone! My name is Sasa 莎莎 and I am both the founder and designer of The Kimono Kid. For the past two years, I’ve been making custom kimono for clients from all around the world.
For the vast majority of people, the word ‘kimono’ brings up an image of an antiquated geisha in a foreign land, wearing a floor length robe during feudal times. However, it would do kimono no justice to be limited to such a stereotyped image. So first, let me break down the etymology of the word…
In Japanese, kimono is written as two kanji characters. The first kanji “ki” (着) means “wearing”. The second kanji “mono” (物) means “thing”. Thus the term kimono refers to a vast majority of clothing worn by the Japanese people for centuries. These include, but are not limited to Yukata, Haori, Furisode, Komon, Happi, Jinbei, etc. Each of the different types of kimono varies in overall length, sleeve style, and functionality. However, it was during the late 19th century/ turn of the 20th century that kimono dress was rapidly replaced by Western style clothing as a means of convenience and modernization during changing times. Hence, the current common misconception of kimono as antiquated dress.
My personal relationship with kimono began about 3 years ago. At the time, I was still studying in the fashion program at Parsons. It was winter break so I went to London on holiday. It was on this trip that I was gifted an antique Haori kimono by an old friend. I brought the Haori back to New York and soon enough took the garment apart, fascinated by its timeless beauty and sleek design. Once the pieces were unraveled, I studied the Haori’s craftsmanship and construction. I began collecting various antique kimono as I was eager to feed my growing curiosity. Eventually, my Aunt in Osaka learned of my new hobby and sent over dozens of family kimono pieces for me to continue learning. Over the next year, I began drafting my own patterns and constructing kimono from scratch. By the end of that year, I received my first custom kimono inquiry from a young man in Brooklyn. That young man sent me referrals and soon enough clients came rolling in. In the past two years since starting The Kimono Kid, I have built the TKK website, got my first studio space in East Williamsburg Brooklyn, developed relationships with fabric mills both locally and abroad, and have acquired a vast variety of custom kimono clients from around the world.
As a kimono craftswoman and aficionado, I firmly believe it is of the utmost importance to not only continue honing my craft, but to also keep learning and expanding my repertoire of kimono knowledge. This brings me to the purpose of this blog. Through the TKK blog, I hope to share with you the history, traditions, and inner workings of all things kimono-related.
Please stay tuned for my upcoming posts on my recent trip to Tokyo. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite fabrics stores, kimono shops, restaurants, project collaborators, and so much more!
I look forward to sharing all that I can with you guys and hope that you may come to love kimono as much as I do^^
Until next time…