Makoto – Influences

When I was in kimono vocational school, I did not wear kimono in private. At that time, kimono was study, and not a fun thing for me. It was really difficult to find the place or occasion to go out to in kimono.
When I started to work in kimono in Tokyo, I started to wear kimono in private. I was fascinated and effected by the magazine “KIMONO HIME”. It showed me the fun of kimono coordination, like using patterns on other patterns or breaking the roles. At that time, my hair style was very short or two-block so that it is easy to make “KIMONO HIME” style.
Then I got be a manager of a shop, in Tokyo. The situation changed. Many of my subordinate co-workers and customers, were much older than me. Many of them liked to wear kimono in a proper way and they expected me to do so, too. When I was in “KIMONO HIME” style, they said “you can do it because you are young.” I felt I was looked down upon, so I wanted to be older if I was going to keep on doing kimono work. Since I wanted to demonstrate myself as a stable person, I would wear white collars and white tabi like the proper ladies, and I was so praised by the surrouning people. Many customers liked it and I realized that it is important for a manager to be admired by the customers.
Also I noticed that I felt relieved to be able to ask about kimono from professional people who wear kimono in a proper way, not like KIMONO HIME style, when I saw many kimono sellers at once in a huge place. My attitude and behaviour changed to be more elegant when I wore kimono in a proper way. At the beginning, I started to wear kimono in a more proper way demonstrate that I was older and stable, but I do not know when, but I really got to like this style. Now I often read the magazine “Utsukushi KIMONO” rather than KIMONO HIME. My hair grew longer after I married and it helped me to look good in this style.

その後、勤務場所が変わり、店長職になったことで状況が変わりました。部下でもある同僚は年長者が多く、客層も年齢が高く、正当派の着方を好む人が多く、店長である私もそれを期待されました。たまに「KIMONO 姫」のような柄の半襟や柄の足袋を身に着けていると「若いからできる。若いっていいわね。」と言われるのが嫌で、若いせいで軽く見られている、着物の仕事をするなら早く歳をとりたいと思っていました。店長として落ち着いて見られたいとの気持ちから、白衿・白足袋の正当派の着方に変えたところ、周りの反応がとても良いことに気がつきました。お客さんからも「素敵」と言われることが増え、店長という立場は周りから憧れられる着物姿であることが大切だと気づきました。私自身、一度に大勢の着物の販売員さんを見る機会がありましたが、そんな時「KIMONO姫」的な着方の人より、正当派の着方をしている人の方が安心して着物のことを相談できると思いました。着物の着方が変わったことで,立ち居振る舞いも丁寧に優雅になるよう気を付けました。最初のうちは自分を店長らしく見せるために着ていましたが、いつの間にかこちらの着方が好きになり、いまでは雑誌も「美しいキモノ」の方をよく読んでいます。

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