Posts Tagged ‘Japanese Kimonos’

Learn About Kimonos From A Pro

Friday, September 2nd, 2022

Kimonos are a popular item of clothing in Japan, and they can be quite versatile. If you’re interested in learning more about kimonos, or in buying one for yourself, it can be helpful to get some advice from a pro. In this blog post, we’ll learn about kimonos from a professional who knows all there is to know about them.

Ron Irving is the Managing Partner of Chopa – Your Kimono Source. Established in 1994, Chopa continues to be a leading provider of authentic Japanese Kimonos and Yukata robes.  Ron recently sat down for a one-on-one interview for a live audience at a business trade exhibition.  We are proud to publish some excerpts from this fascinating interview.

How did you first get interested in Japanese kimonos?

“I first became interested in Japanese kimonos when I saw one in a store. It was so beautiful and different from anything else I had seen before. It was amazing the way it flowed when the woman wearing it moved. I was curious about the culture and history behind it, so I did some research and found out that Japanese kimonos are made of silk and are worn for special occasions.

While researching these robes, I learned that there are two types of kimonos: yukata and kimono yukata. Yukata are made of lighter fabric and are usually worn during summer festivals, while kimono yukata are made of heavier fabric and are worn during winter festivals. I was fascinated by all the different colors and patterns, and I knew that I wanted to learn more about Japanese kimonos. Even though I don’t live in Japan, I decided to buy a yukata so that I could experience the culture for myself. Every time I put on my yukata; I feel like I’ve been transported to another world.”

What is your favorite thing about Japanese kimonos?

“There are so many things to love about Japanese culture, but Japanese kimonos are my favorite thing.  I love the way they are both traditional and modern, and I love the way they can be either simple or ornate. I also love the way that kimonos can be worn for both casual and formal occasions. My favorite kimono is my yukata, which is a casual kimono made of cotton. I love how comfortable it is, and I love how many compliments I receive.

My closet also contains a few semi-formal kimonos, which I wear for special occasions. Putting one on always makes me feel like a warrior or elite statesman when I wear them. Japanese kimonos are truly a work of art, and I am grateful to be able to wear them. I am even more grateful to be able to share my love of the kimono with others by operating Chopa – Your Kimono Source.”

Do you think kimonos will continue to be popular in the future?

“The Japanese kimono is a traditional garment with a long history. dating back to the 8th century. Because kimonos have been around for centuries, it is highly doubtful they will be going out of style any time soon. Today, kimonos are not only an iconic part of Japanese history, but they are also part of world history.

While they were once only worn on special occasions, nowadays it is not uncommon to see people wearing kimonos as everyday clothing. Many Japanese fashion brands have begun releasing their lines of kimonos, which has helped to increase their popularity even further. They have also been embraced by the youth culture in Japan and overseas.”

How Often Do You Wear Them?

“I love wearing yukata, and I wear one at least five times a week during the summer months. It is a treat to come home from work or a day out, take a soothing shower, and slip into my yukata. It instantly relaxes me and any stress I had is gone. It’s a great way to stay cool while still looking stylish.

Plus, it’s always fun to get dressed up in traditional Japanese clothing In the cooler months it varies, but most people that know me are never surprised when they pop over and I am in my kimono or yukata when I answer the door. I love the short-length Happi Coats in the summer.  Whether I am watering my plants on the patio, doing a little clean-up around the house, or sitting by the pool, it becomes a part of me.”

This is Part one in a series. Ron Irving has been managing Chopa for many years and his understanding of the kimono has been so beneficial to our company and our customers.  Shop our online store 24 hours a day. Check back again soon for Part 2 of his interview.

mens shodo yukata in 100% cotton

                   Let’s Talk About Kimonos

Kimonos In Flight

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

It’s a long process.  Starting in the farm fields, cotton seeds are planted and soon sprout. The tender plants are well cared for, nourished, watered, and grown to mature plants. The cotton is harvested and processed and woven into a giant blank canvas. From the multi-stage dying process and careful printing of the fine virgin cotton fabrics, it is on to the buyer’s markets.  Our buyers are meticulously seeking out the best of the best. Fabrics must pass their vigorous inspections and only the best are purchased. The fabric bolts are delivered to the sewing rooms where production begins.

The talented seamstresses and tailors cut panels from the large bolts of materials. From there, the panels are sent to experienced artisans and sewing teams where careful attention is given to every stitch.  As the process continues, what once looked like stacks of fabric jigsaw puzzle pieces, a Japanese Kimono started to take shape in the traditional form we know.  Further inspections and finishing touches are checked not once or twice, but three or more times to make the final cut or approval. Once the quality assurance team gives their approval, the Kimonos and Yukatas are neatly pressed and folded, and individually packaged.

Once packaged, team members sort and stack the finished robes into boxes where they are labeled and processed for shipment. This process varies in detail depending on whether the shipment contains hundreds or thousands of Japanese robes. The method of how the goods are transported to the United States also plays into the equation. Chopa – Your Kimono Source has opted for air cargo for some time now especially because of the Covid Pandemic.

Shipping on container ships became very expensive and major delays are now the norm. We pride ourselves on offering a full selection as best as we can and air cargo eliminates many delays.  Air transport isn’t cheap, but sometimes a company absorbs additional costs to serve their customers and this is something we strive to do.

While air travel is relatively quick, goods must still go through customs, and taxes and duties must be paid. Once they arrive at a major hub in the USA, our carriers work on delivering the shipment to our warehouse as quickly as possible.  This normally encompasses a few shorter flights from a few states away and then finally “the last mile delivery” as it is known in the shipping world is made.  Freight trucks roll up to our doors and the unloading begins.

This process includes opening boxes, and scanning and entering data into our inventory database. The reports are forwarded to our web team where they go into the back end of our website and add the new sizes, colors, and other pertinent information.  Little by little over the next 3-5 days, the website is updated and dozens and dozens of sizes, styles, and colors are instantly back in stock.

We are often amazed at how quickly orders begin coming in that selected new items we just added. We have a complimentary electronic notification list if a customer wants to be notified of an out-of-stock item coming back in stock. But many customers regularly check our website and are ready to hit the BUY button when it is posted.

With social media, we announce when a new shipment is arriving. Most customers get alerted of this fact through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. If you don’t follow us on social media, we recommend you do.  Besides announcements of new shipments, we also alert subscribers to special sales, closeouts, price reductions, and overstock deals. We also share simple news items about something of interest to our Kimono Loving Family of customers.

We try to keep it fresh and never beat anyone up with multiple posts per hour like some stores do.  We want it to be relevant and interesting. As a 100% employee-owned business, we want to treat our customers the same we like to be treated. We understand what a turn-off it is to be bombarded by solicitations and advertisements. This is simply something we do not participate in.

With that said our work is cut out for us.  Planes left Japan over the weekend and trucks already delivered the first shipment of many this morning.  We expect more truckloads throughout the week.  Our warehouse was in full operational mode this past weekend prepping for the deliveries. Our priority is to always process customer orders as soon as possible, so this doesn’t hinder getting orders out.  It is an art and science but since we have been doing this for 28 years, we think we know a thing or two and make it as painless as possible. Now Go Get Your Kimono On…SHOP NOW!! 

 

Kimonos In Flight