Kimono are an important part of Japanese culture, with many Japanese celebrating life’s milestones such as weddings and coming-of-age ceremonies in fine kimono. In the past, kimono, which are made from valuable and elaborate fabric, were passed down from mother to daughter. Today however, rental kimono are the norm, just to be worn for the day and then returned to the rental shop. If these rentals become old or get dirty, they can’t be worn anymore, but the fabric used to make them, which is filled with the traditional craftsmanship of weaving, embroidery, and dyeing, is still beautiful and valuable. WAEN makes accessories from kimono no longer used by rental shops, repurposing them to have new life in our daily lives.
The Hamamoto family, who run beauty salons with kimono rental services, have been dressing members of the community for their important milestones since the 1930’s. Though synthetic fabrics have become more common in kimono, the Hamamoto family stock only silk ones, many handmade by skilled artisans in such places as Kyoto. WAEN is a project by Seiya Hamamoto to breathe new life into the kimono that are not rented anymore, making them into accessories that are both stylish, valuable, and eco-friendly.