In 2011 our designer Dee took a trip to Japan. She tells us how this trip inspired, not only our latest collection ‘Kimono Kisses’ but was the catalyst for a big change in direction for Maiocchi going forward...
Our Kimono Kisses collection took its starting point from a vintage kimono I bought on a trip to Japan back in 2011. It was such a fabulous and inspiring trip and this trip actually ended up being a major turning point for Maiocchi.
2011 was before we designed our own custom prints at Maiocchi. At the time, we mostly purchased prints from Japan or from agents in Australia.
I was designing our upcoming winter collection and feeling very uninspired by the fabric prints I had available at the time.
With the fashion manufacturing industry in Australia fast declining, it was becoming more and more difficult to find interesting prints each season.
Several of the big fabric companies that we had bought fabric from for many years had closed down, and the companies that remained were reducing their ranges each year to become more commercially viable.
I was not feeling inspired, and the deadline for my upcoming collection was looming.
I was also trying to balance work and life as a new mother, as I had a not quite one year old at home!
I was really in quite a pickle!!
I made a last minute decision to go to Japan for inspiration and to search for new and inspiring fabrics. I took my bestie Daryl with me, because I did not want to go alone, and she had been to Japan before and could speak some Japanese. I left my baby with Mum and Dad for a week!
Daryl and I had a whirlwind week, visiting fabric agents in Osaka and Kyoto and then spending a weekend shopping in Tokyo. What I discovered was that the traditional Japanese fabric prints that I loved, were not made for a fashion market, but instead, more for a craft market. So they weren't bringing out new collections of prints to follow the fashion seasons.
This is when I realized that to keep our prints at Maiocchi fresh and inspiring each season, I would have to begin designing our own prints.
In Kyoto we saw a tiny ad in a local magazine in our hotel about vintage kimono for sale. It was quite out of the way, but we were on a mission and eventually found the place. It was a huge warehouse jam packed full of vintage kimono.
We were so excited, and spent the best part of an afternoon looking through the racks.
We decided to buy a suitcase and select the best ones, but we were limited to a suitcase full!
As you can imagine, with my love of Japanese prints, it was difficult to leave any of the gorgeous pieces behind.
These vintage kimono, have inspired many prints over the years, and I came back from this trip feeling newly inspired for my upcoming collection, and for my business overall, with a mission to create our own prints.
It was the start of something new at Maiocchi and has been a step in the right direction, as I get so much joy from the print design each season and it means our prints are exclusive to us.
Most of the kimonos I bought were in quite bright colours, but there is one that was in beautiful jewel tones that I have kept coming back to over the years.
One of my goals for 2022 was to have more variety in our colour palettes across the collections... so jewel tones was on my list!
Our Kimono Kisses Collection features beautiful jewel tones in a whimsical floral print and spots.
It’s no secret that I love florals and spots, so this collection is all of my favourite things rolled into one.
A colour palette of rich reds, purples, greens and yellows makes this collection stand out, while the pieces themselves specialise in what we do best at Maiocchi, classic shapes that are easy to wear and flattering.
We also have added some new separates in this collection… the Isabella and Audrey Tops, as well as your favourite dress styles.
I hope you love the Kimono Kisses collection as much as I do.
Set your alarms for Wednesday 6th July , 7pm AEST