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“BORO” refers to worn and useless textiles and old, torn, or patched clothes.

Unlike today where people are flush with goods, in Japan 150 years ago cotton textiles were quite scarce. For the peasants living in rural coasts or mountainous areas clothing and the materials for making them were rare and expensive. The people here began using a traditional stitching technique called sashiko in order to retain warmth and to make the clothing stronger and last longer.

People who could not afford an entire roll of cloth would purchase remnants in urban centers like Edo (now Tokyo), Kyoto and Osaka. They pieced the textile fragments together to make work clothes, blankets, and nightclothes. When these garments became worn out and began to fall apart they were patched together again and strengthened by using the sashiko technique.

Historically in Japan clothing was never wasted or taken for granted, instead, they were recycled, perhaps turned into undergarments, which when worn out might be woven into a floor mat or used as a dust cloth. After long years of usage they became increasingly smaller remnants. As people used the same cloth over many generations, boro became intimately entangled with family history and their collective memory, and thus takes on indescribable beauty and power.

Boro is now gaining international recognition as people appreciate its beauty and power, in much the same way they might value abstract art or rare antiques. 

Shinichiro Ishibashi, KUON’s designer, was drawn to boro because of its history, background, and  intimate historical connection to people’s lives of another era.
Instead of simply repairing the boro, KUON creates completely new patterns, disassembles the boro into pieces, and reconstructs them, making modern fashion.


Rather than being bound by traditional and nostalgic modes of thought, KUON always seeks for newness in their collections and to be challenged by creating new value.

撮影協力 丘の上APT/兒嶋画廊

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