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Meet Shiho Sato
Owner and Designer of Shantique Kimono

Shiho Sato
Shantique Kimono by Shantique Creations
FB: Shantique Creations
Instagram: kimonoobiwedding
Twitter: @ShantiqueKimono
Pinterest: @shantiquekimono

Tell us more about yourself, your business… I learned traditional Japanese dance from an early age, and grew up feeling familiar with kimono, such as wearing kimono on a daily basis and touching gorgeous kimono as stage costumes. After studying design in Tokyo, I worked as a designer at an apparel company in Tokyo, worked with Japanese and European designers, and experienced both pret-a-porter and mass production. My mission is to create a design that shines in the current modern scene while making the best use of the original design of the kimono.

I would love to share the beauty and preciousness of the “Wearable Art of Kimono” with people who love kimono and people all over the world who do not know kimono yet. I also design promotional materials and restaurant décor with a Japanese flair.

How would you describe your art/craft? It's the ultimate collaboration of the artisan who created the kimono in the past and my creativity. I handle kimono, which is a treasure that Japan can be proud of, with love and respect. Each pre-loved kimono has its own history: the people who drew patterns, wove/dyed fabrics or sewed kimono, also people who wore them. I design with the utmost respect for the thoughts of various craftsmen who have been cherished.

What kinds of items do you sell? What is the price range?
I make casual clothing mainly with YUKATA or KOMON, and formal wedding attire with TOMESODE, FURISODE or UCHIKAKE. I also offer dresses (casual, formal or wedding), tops, shawls, obi purses, men’s ties and kimono. Prices range from $15 (for two bookmarks) to $2,000 for the most customized styles. I'm challenging myself to make an affordable price range of dresses.

How long have you been doing this?
I started working with kimono in 1994 and opened my Etsy shop in 2009.

Have you travelled to Japan? I go back to Japan once every few years but I haven't been there during this challenging time. I want to go back soon!

What is your favorite thing about working with kimono fabric? I love the excitement of receiving the kimono, opening the box and seeing the kimono being delivered! Every time I open the treasure chest, I get very excited and moved as I cherish the momentary inspiration.

What is the most challenging thing about working with kimono fabric? I think there is a story in the pattern of the kimono. I try to express the story as much as possible, not just cutting out the motif. At the same time, I don't want to waste precious fabrics, so I cut off as little as possible. In the manufacturing process, I put a lot of effort into the invisible part of the underside as well, so that the items recreated from the kimono will be loved for a long time and can be used repeatedly.

See more of Shiho's creations below: