New York–You wouldn’t know it from all the ponchos, wraps, shrugs etc. that are so popular as cover-ups, but traditional Japanese kimono is facing a serious crisis–hindered by aging artisans and a lack of successors threatening its craft continuity. To address this, designer Hiromi Asai will be staging a crowdfunding-based show at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) on February 16, at Skylight in Moynihan Station.
A by-product of the Kickstater campaign “To Save Kimono Artisans,” the event will feature authentic kimonos produced with the help of the Kimono Artisan Kyoto, a Japanese non-profit organization that aims to preserve and improve kimono production.
By showing in NYFW, the organization says that this will help “arouse great interest in kimono all over the world” and show people that the kimono is “really a modern dress with huge capacity of variation.” To date, they and Asai also want to expand the market reach of the traditional Japanese garment to encourage younger folks to take up kimono-making.
–Eugene Y. Santos