If you haven’t found your kimono style just yet, not to worry. We’re sharing a beautiful story today of one woman’s experience as she discovers a floral kimono cardigan that pulled at her intuition when she came into our store in San Francisco. Sarah Botha, a writer “passionate about vegan food, travel, words, inner wildness and self-discovery”, had never considered adding a kimono robe to her wardrobe before a trip to Chinatown changed her mind.
Below, she beautifully describes how she found a short kimono that made her feel like she was wearing “a second skin”. We love Sarah’s description of being pulled to her mineral blue kimono because it’s all about following her own instincts — one thing we always encourage. We hope you can come into the store and have the same kind of experience Sarah had, but if you can’t, read our journal and browse our site to find the kimono robe that gives you your own moment of “becoming”.
Here’s Sarah’s story:
“On the Airport Express to Hong Kong International Airport, I began to read. I was moved by the sentiments of each writer and their item clothing, their stories imbued into the very fabric of their item. Whether it was the exhaustion or how Hong Kong had cracked open vast emotions within myself, I found myself crying as I read Ross Intelisano’s memoir to his grandmother’s silk ties and their symbolism to him in the wake of family tragedy.
Returning home and unpacking my own clothing, I looked at my own clothes with new eyes. What item would I select to represent myself or to tell a story about who I am? I wrestled between my treasured faux fur leopard print coat and my Fabienne Chapot lobster loafers, before finally settling on my turquoise charmeuse kimono from San Francisco.”
“At the end of that first day, we found ourselves in Chinatown as we walked back to our hotel. As we meandered down the alley ways, dodging people and taking in the graffiti, we came across KIM+ONO. Set back from the main road, the store immediately caught my eye because of its modern and light space, completely at odds with the tacky Chinese tourist shops at either side of it. Entranced by the rows of beautiful, silky gowns, I had to step inside. I had never seen so many kimonos in one place. Categorised by colour and fabric, the store seemed to stretch out in an array of different shades, beckoning to me as store attendants glided effortlessly across the floor, robes fluttering behind them.”
“I had never had a reason to want a kimono before, but as I felt the silky fabric between my hands, I couldn’t imagine not owning one now. The robes appealed to the fledgling parts of myself that were still learning to take flight. They were calling out for boldness, quirkiness and new experiences.
My eye was drawn to a turquoise mid-length robe with pink flowers scattered across the back. It was so light and delicate, yet striking with the colours instantly sharpening the blues in my eyes. The longer I stood wearing it, the more it felt like a second skin; the fabric rippling and following every movement of my body. Perhaps then, it was in that moment that I fully stepped into who I was becoming, shedding my old skin and embracing a new one. A skin that was more relaxed, bohemian and ease with herself.
I left KIM+ONO with two kimonos that day, and have since added a third to my collection. But it is the turquoise that remains my favourite. It was my first foray into the unfamiliar and a symbol of liberation. Even now as I wear it over my pajamas so many months later, I am taken back to the trip to San Francisco and my time of becoming.”
Photo by Sarah Botha