Traditional Japanese silk kimonos are handmade and typically cost between $2000 – $20,000 usd. They’re reserved for special occasions like coming-of-age day and weddings. Some estimates put the total value of kimono that are stored away in closets all across Japan as high as $300 billion usd. In an attempt to extract some of that value and inject it back into society, a group of designers began the Tokyo Kimono Shoes project.
Tokyo Kimono Shoes buys those beautiful silk robes that are just collecting dust and they collaborate with artisanal shoemakers to turn them into one-of-a-kind footwear. The team takes special care in selecting each kimono that is used, making sure that the colors and designs are aesthetically appropriate for shoe ware before cutting the fabric up into smaller pieces.
The pieces then go to an Asakusa-based company that has specialized in making handmade shoes for 70 years.
The kimono shoes, each priced at 36,500 yen (about $270 usd), are being launched on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake, and are currently only available in Japan. But once the initial launch has passed, the shoes are expected to become available to overseas buyers as well. You can follow Tokyo Kimono Shoes on Instagram for updates.