Meet the Makers of Your Favorite Kimono Robes

We know that when you pick out your favorite kimono robe, you’re not just picking out a bathrobe or a lightweight layer to complement your wardrobe. You are intentional. You are thoughtful. You are conscious. And you want to only add beautiful, handcrafted pieces to your closet. You want to know each piece was handcrafted with as much care and intention as possible.


So today in the journal, we wanted to introduce you to the folks behind each and every handcrafted kimono robe. These artisans are folks our founders’ family has partnered with for decades from China’s Silk Village. When Renee and Tiffany, the co-founders and sisters behind KIM+ONO, were young, they would travel with their parents to Asia and see how artisans shaped the production process from beginning to end. Seeing that incredible skill applied to handcrafted work impacted the sisters to want to bring that craftsmanship and quality into their designs. The group of artisans we work with in China’s Silk Village brings their extraordinary talent and timeless techniques to each and every handcrafted piece. Our team of artisans works to make your kimono robe a timeless statement piece that can last you a lifetime and an heirloom that you can pass down from generation to generation. Here are the craftsmen and craftswomen behind each and every piece from the design to the final product, today in the journal:

KIM+ONO co-founders Renee and Tiffany Tam
Photo by Augie Chang
The Designers: Co-Founders and Sisters, Renee and Tiffany Tam

Our kimono patterns are designed in house in San Francisco by co-founders and sisters Renee and Tiffany Tam. Inspired by vintage Asian art and the timeless beauty of botanicals, the design team works to highlight trending seasonal colors, and chooses palettes that compliment various skin tones and complexions. While they are constantly inspired by the vintage botanicals they’ve been surrounded by since childhood, Renee and Tiffany are also mothers who know that the modern woman (and man) needs versatile and long-lasting pieces that can stand up to the duties of everyday life. And the modern woman does not want to sacrifice beauty for versatility, so the Tam sisters put a lot of intention and thoughtfulness into making every inch of your kimono fabric as beautiful as possible. In gearing up to design, they say, “Our creative juices flow best when we unwind to our favorite music, focus on serenity, take deep breaths and allow our minds to be free…” We hope that you feel that sense of serenity each time you slip into your kimono robe.

 

The Artist: Ping
The Artist: Ping

We have several different collections in our line, with our Handpainted Silk Collection being the signature and central focus of our designs. Once the designs are created, the technical and artistic process continues with Ping, the artist behind the beautifully handpainted flowers you see on each piece. Ping starts off the weeklong process to make just one kimono pattern on our 100% silk kimono robes with a sketch. Every silk robe for women that we create is a completely original piece of art — every petal and detail on our handpainted kimono robes are first sketched by hand by Ping, then saturated in rich watercolors using a traditional paintbrush. It takes about seven days to make just one complete kimono robe. You can feel the heart and energy put into each piece when you wear it. 

The Innovator: Houbin
The Innovator: Houbin

Houbin is our master innovator. He helps find the delicate materials you know and love in each of our collections. From silk to charmeuse, we source and weave the finest materials for our kimono robes. Not only will Houbin help us source the variety of weaves and fibers in each piece, but he’ll also help us determine the best production practice to create a beautiful variety of pieces to last you a lifetime. Each kimono fabric requires its own process and handling; handlooms, handicraft looms, and power looms are all used in the manufacturing process based on the needs of the kimono fabric and kimono pattern. From our signature line to our plus size robes, the team of textile innovators take great pride in producing a wide variety of high quality fabrics that are hand selected for our unique kimono robe production.

The Tailor: Youyuan
The Tailor: Youyuan

Once our kimono patterns are placed onto the kimono fabric, next comes the tailoring process. Every single collection, from our plus size robes to our silk robes for women, are all sewn into a “T” shape from four single pieces of fabric, and then tied with an obi (or belt). In a design like this, we intentionally leave out shoulder seams so that the kimono robes will fall differently on everyone, depending on the breadth of their shoulders. We offer the same cut and versatility in our plus size kimono robes with the same kimono fabrics of Charmeuse, Silk, and Washable Silk. Minimizing fabric waste and creating a garment that fits most shapes, the design for each of our kimono robes allows for everyone to enjoy a little bit of luxury. They are oh so soft to the touch, constructed with care and precision, and infinitely adaptable. Our kimono robes are meant to be worn for years, or even decades, to come. 

The Inspector: Rongjian
The Inspector: Rongjian

When we put in the time and technique to each design, choosing the kimono fabric and production process, and creating a luxurious piece you can love for a lifetime, perhaps the most important part of the process happens at the end. We pride ourselves on delivering the best product we can, so no kimono  robe is complete without a full inspection. Rongjian is our amazing inspector, ensuring that each and every stitch, every petal, color saturation, and kimono fabric looks and feels beautiful so that when you slip on your silk kimono robe, you feel as beautiful as you look. Our kimonos are handcrafted with heritage, and designed with you in mind. 

Check out a breakdown of our entire collection here and find something that you can fall in love with, knowing how consciously and intentionally your kimono robe was created from start to finish. Because, lovely, you deserve it.

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