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Taking kimono silk to the next fashion level

Japanese startup aims at international market for luxury clothing

Fashion startup Arlnata uses silk kimono fabrics for its ready-to-wear clothing, most of which is Western-style. Based in Japan, the brand presented its first collection in April 2019. (Courtesy of Arlnata)

TAIPEI -- For more than a decade, Japanese fashion designer Shunsuke Teranishi worked in Tokyo, Milan and Paris for leading Japanese and European apparel brands. But his career took a dramatic turn in 2016, when he was introduced to the fascinating world of ushikubi tsumugi (cow's neck silk), an exquisite variety of kimono fabric shown at a textile and fashion exhibition in Paris.

That show -- the biennial Premiere Vision exhibition -- was an eye-opener for Teranishi, an architect-turned-designer who was then working for Paris-based Hermes as the only Asian designer in the women's wear team, following earlier jobs at Yohji Yamamoto in Tokyo and with Carol Christian Poell and Agnona in Milan.

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