I heard the news that the “Deerskin Kimono” designed by Tomoe Shinohara won the Silver and Bronze awards in two categories, respectively, at the “New York ADC Awards.
Shortly after that, the 103rd Tokyo Leather Fair was held, and the “Deerskin Kimono” was shown to the public in the Japan Tanners Association booth.
I was very impressed by the wonderful workmanship and the concept. I hope that her achievement will help spread the eco-friendly and sustainable aspects of leather, which are very common within the leather industry, to the general public.
Below is the text that was published along with the “Deerskin Kimono” that was made available to the public.
Tomoe Shinohara x Japan Tanners Association
The history of leather culture in Japan dates back to 1,300 years ago. Before the 17th century, when the technology for processing cow and horse leather was introduced, deerskin was widely used mainly for armor, Shinto ritual implements, and daily necessities.
Japanese deerskin used in this work is a byproduct of capturing Ezo deer in order to prevent damage to crops and forests, which has become increasingly serious in recent years.
In these days of SDGs, we have collaborated with Ito Sangyo, a tannery in Soka City, Saitama Prefecture, to produce a special deerskin product which is a byproduct of Ezo Deers.
We have attempted to present the appeal of Japanese genuine leather from a unique angle, from the perspective of making use of this precious leather without wasting it, which is a gift from irreplaceable life.
During the manufacturing process, the edges of the leather, which have a natural beauty, are cut off and discarded.
Therefore, we focused on the beauty of the organic curves of the leather’s unique edges, which would normally be discarded.
Its design was imagined as a mountain shape where animals live.
The result is a combination of the ethereal world reminiscent of Japanese “Suiboku-ga” (ink painting) and the reproduction of mountain ridgelines on each piece of leather.
By transforming it into a kimono, a traditional Japanese garment that uses fabric without waste, it has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind figure.
The ancient spirit of mankind to cherish things, the Japanese sense of beauty, and the advanced skills of the leather craftsmen, all contribute to the creation of this unique item.
The work was brought to completion by the ancient spirit of cherishing things, the aesthetic sense of Japanese people, and the advanced and superior skills of leather craftsmen.