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One Year! Happy Birthday

A celebration of birth, growth and achievement.

Much like lighting a good fire, one year ago we warmed our indigo vat for the first time. Seasoned material and knowledge is required. Patience, learning and graft are necessary before the beautiful results can be appreciated. 

Reflecting on our last year has been as emotional as the journey itself. All of natures elements thrown at us as we navigated the immense task of making our art a reality. Every once in a while we hit calm waters and enjoy the fruits of our labours, before setting out on more adventures after the changing and unpredictable currents of 2021.

As is life, and one lived fully and fast.

Enjoying listening to our Birthday Playlist whilst reading our story!

Lilly and Tom

 With a deep friendship, serendipity brought us together. A spontaneous quality we both have about us!

Riding a wave of optimism, excitement and synergy we launched our company one year ago as Kimono Oi, designing and making our first item that became our signature piece – the crop Kimono. 

We quickly loaded our motorbikes up with as much carefully packed items as we could carry and hit the road north of the city to the mountainous city of Da Lat. The cool air at this altitude, made a fun testing ground and a great respite from the heat before heading down the old French built roads to Phan Thiet. Here the sand dunes and beaches of Mui Ne formed the back drop to our Yukata and lounge ware kimono.

These photoshoot trips are part of our process. 

For our kimono, we set out to honour the traditional form – using the shape as a canvas, whist also adapting it to modern practicality with the inclusion of pockets and a tailored cut in some instances. 

We achieved this in our crop kimono, cutting the garment at the waist, incorporating clever elements so it can be styled in a multitude of ways. 

In Saigon, Lunar New Year came around quickly. With little but essential services open during what became a mini lockdown, Lilly and Tom put their efforts into indigo dyeing and creating art work. 

With both strokes, the brush met our Yukata, linens were made ever darker by our experiments with indigo and resist shapes of polka dots, splashes and strokes formed unique wearable art pieces. 

The feeling of seeing our crafted panels of fabric made up in our kimono designs was incredible. 

Following on from a period of some stability between lockdowns where we set out to create a unisex item for everyone. These reversible Happi are great fun, an outfit change, or an item that can be shared – Happi!

Chef Logan cooks the good stuff. At our showroom’s on-site kitchen we enjoyed his award winning food and managed to get a photoshoot completed in the process for our chef aprons. 

We launched our chef aprons after a need for a functional and durable apron. Tom drew on his career as a chef and our relationships with head chefs in Saigon to create the ultimate apron, using style, durable materials and useful features such as the built in utensil holders. 

Our love of indigo came into use during our extended lockdown. Having moved our vat home just before our internment, we dyed into the night, producing beautiful art, napkins and table runners for our stockists in the USA. 

Lilly put out all the stops, designing big moons painted onto linen in beeswax, destined for the dye vat. These pieces have been on display at Soma as large wall hangings and hand made Noren. 

Artwork on display at Soma Art Lounge, Saigon.

Here, the integrity of our ethos was solidified further, with our dreams and innate desire to create art becoming the natural centre of what we do. 

The inclusion of our art range completes us and what we now do. 

Defining what you are is an organic process that evolves with time. Nothing can replace the journey, the learning, the emotions, the Lilly, the Tom, without such action, patience, passion and in the end a deep unity that is felt and understood by the trained eye who loves, appreciates and understands the artists. 

So, what’s next….

Well you will find out soon! 

What we can tell you, is it’s going to be more adventures! Happy Birthday!

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Kimono Ơi Pops Up! #1 Soma

Kimono Ơi has held a #checkout #tryon #takehome event at Soma Saigon. It was a great pleasure and opportunity to invite everyone to try our Kimonos on in person. It was a fun and successful event with happy new Kimono Oi owners. Check out the gallery below!

Soma is one of the cities great bar and events spaces with delicious, seasonal & healthy food provided by Chef Rohan of The Green Box.