photos by Sayuki Inoue courtesy Tomoe Shinohara
Kimono are typically made from a combination of hemp, linen, silk. But designer Tomoe Shinohara’s bold attempt to create a leather kimono from scraps intended to be thrown away, has resulted in a stunningly airy garment that is inspired by the hazy gradients of mountains.
Shinohara worked exclusively with deer hide, taking inspiration from the mountains where the animals live. She worked with leather artisans to upcycle leather scraps by dying them in several gradients to create a layered effect. The Leather Scrap Kimono was created in collaboration with the Tanner’s Council of Japan to help spread awareness of Japan’s leather craft.
Those who spent time in Japan in the 90s will remember Shinohara as a giggly, high-strung pop singer. But her academic background is actually in fashion design and she recently pivoted her career to re-focus on her roots. You can follow her on Instagram.