Kuon is designed by Shinichiro Ishibashi. After an apprenticeship with an established tailor in Tokyo, Ishibashi worked for a well-known high-end fashion brand as a pattern maker. In 2014, he began designing on a freelance basis before starting Kuon in 2016.
While appreciating the history and culture of vintage clothes and textiles, KUON seeks permanence, simplicity, and authenticity — to not be bound by traditional views. KUON challenges customary notions about vintage clothes and aims to revitalize them with new value.
Brand Mission Statements
- KUON believes fashion has the power to energize and motivate people.
- KUON challenges the existing consumer-based approach of mass-production
- KUON proposes a way of life where “stylish” and “socially good” go together.
- KUON designs connect people and society.
About the Collection
“For KUON’s Fall/Winter 21, founder and designer, Shinichiro Ishibashi examines the past when major transformations in society arose which led to innovations in fashion. One being 19th century Japan, the late Edo period, but also 1920’s Western fashion where new developments of silhouettes and fabrics were introduced and brought optimism and elegance to the new challenges and lifestyle changes. Creating this Fall 2021 collection during these unprecedented times we live in, it was this optimistic and progressive mindset that Ishibashi wanted to bring forth. The three elements Ishibashi honed in are: color, mobility and layering.
Ishibashi was most interested in the later days of the Edo period, which was otherwise a prosperous and opulent period, where the merchant class, ordinary citizens, were left with limited discretion and opportunities. Their wardrobe often consisted of the limited color palette of brown, gray and indigo blue. However, he also recognized that that people at that time were undeterred by their limitations and sought originality through their ingenuity and creativity often inventing more than 100 new tones of this limited color scheme. For this season, Ishibashi also challenged himself by limiting KUON’s color palette to blue, brown and gray. As a way of expressing appreciation for the Japanese aesthetic of color and creativity, Ishibashi utilizes tonal fabrics that each have distinct textures such as a brushed knit, shiny satin and matte Japanese Washi paper. Though technically the same color is used, the differences in the composition of the yarn, or the luster and texture naturally create a rich variation of shades.
The modernization of Western fashion in the 1920s mirrored the changing of women’s roles in society and the looser fitting silhouettes allowed greater movement. Ishibashi celebrates this shift by combining elegant fabrics often used in the 20’s such as silk satin, grosgrain and velvet with a relaxed fit. As people spend more time at home due to the pandemic and gravitate towards clothing that is easy and comfortable, Ishibashi underlines that clothing can be both comfortable to wear and elegant at the same time.
Ishibashi also incorporates his own interpretation of the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of ‘wabi-sabi’ through layering and combining materials and colors, with a focus on hems, cuffs, and sleeves to give the appearance of layering, giving the impression of layering while being a single item of clothing.” (CDFA)