Kyoto will open a casual kimono store in Tokyo in March aimed at spreading the traditional outfit among metropolitan women, the city announced Friday.
The store, which will open in the upscale Minami Aoyama district, will stock kimono crafted with modern prints and colors to attract first-time buyers in their late 20s to 40s. The store’s goal will be to reverse the luxury garment’s sagging popularity, said spokesman Motoyoshi Takeda of Kyoto’s traditional industry department.
“These days there is less demand for kimono and sales are declining, so we wanted to secure a new market and promote kimono in the capital,” he said. “It would be great if the kimono became used for everyday wear instead of just for ceremonies and special occasions.”
Customers will have around 100 variations to choose from, with many featuring modern twists such as bold prints or Western-style shades. They will be made in Kyoto’s traditional Nishijin-ori (Nishijin weave) brocade or through the “kyo Yuzen” dyeing process.
Takeda also said the new casual kimono will be more reasonably priced, ranging from ¥100,000 to ¥300,000 (including tailoring), and be produced by 20 manufacturers.
“The kimono will be chic, and different from the showy styles worn at coming-of-age ceremonies,” he said.
Miyuki Hatoyama, wife of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who is noted for her fashion sense, plans to attend the store’s opening ceremony Feb. 28.
The store will be named Shiroi Karasu to reflect an elegant white color and the crow Yatagarasu, which served as the messenger for a god in Japanese mythology.