The Leather Scrap Kimono by Tomoe Shinohara is Inspired by Hazy Mountains

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.

3 Comments

  1. Marie-Ancolie R

    May 22, 2022 at 5:53 am

    Absolutely stunning.
    Very poetic. From somber earth (floor, feet) up to light skies (shoulder, head) and above.

  2. Was literally going to ask if this was the same Shinohara Tomoe who sang bops like Ultra Relax and Happy Point back in the 90s! I had no idea she had a fashion background. How cool! The kimono is gorgeous.

  3. Wow I just happened to listen to her song Ultra Relax on Spotify and decided to see what became of her and I came across this blog. Almost hard to believe they’re the same person! I’m glad she found her passion and a fulfilling career, the kimono design is very beautiful.

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