Tokyo Kimono Shoes
Photo: Potato Co., Ltd.

These leather sneakers are upcycled from unused silk kimono

Tokyo Kimono Shoes is turning gorgeous Japanese traditional fabric into one-of-a-kind artisanal sneakers

Kaila Imada
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Kaila Imada
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Combining Japan’s passion for upcycling and sneakers, the Tokyo Kimono Shoes project is giving unused luxurious kimono a second life by transforming the fabric into gorgeous kicks.

Tokyo Kimono Shoes
Photo: Potato. Co., Ltd.

Traditional silk kimono are typically worn only for special occasions. Most of the time, they are stored away collecting dust. To make use of these beautiful robes, the Tokyo Kimono Shoes project have been buying up unused silk kimono to turn them into unique sneakers. This is done with the help of Akusuto, an artisanal company in Asakusa that’s been making shoes by hand for 70 years. 

Tokyo Kimono Shoes
Photo: Potato Co., Ltd.

The shoes are 100 percent made in Japan, crafted with Japanese silk kimono and genuine Japanese leather. No two pairs are alike, as each shoe features unique patterns cut from different kimono. 

Tokyo Kimono Shoes
Photo: Potato Co., Ltd.

There are six designs made with different coloured leather and shoelaces to complement the kimono fabric. There is also one design with velcro straps. 

Tokyo Kimono Shoes
Photo: Potato Co., Ltd.

The sneakers come in bright silver, red, navy and white with white laces, matte silver with black laces, and black leather with velcro. 

Tokyo Kimono Shoes
Photo: Potato Co., Ltd.

A non-slip rubber is used for the sole while an iron shank has been added to the insole to help stabilise walking. 

Tokyo Kimono Shoes
Photo: Potato Co., Ltd.

The sneakers are being launched on Japanese crowdfunding website Makuake and therefore, are only available in Japan. The unisex shoes retail for ¥36,500 a pair and come in sizes ranging from 21.5cm to 29cm. Currently, the crowdfunding site is offering a discount and you can sign up to get a pair for ¥31,000.

After the initial launch, there are plans to make the sneakers available internationally. For the latest updates, follow Tokyo Kimono Shoes on Instagram.

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