One piece of clothing that brings you a new sense of "Awareness"
The Trip When I Discovered "Skinware", my own personal one-mile wear.
Designer Hiromi Kani took a trip to Iceland.
In just 8 days, she had a variety of new experiences that affected her outlook on life.
Traveling changes people, and gives them a new perspective on the world.
The ultimate garment was born from this trip, specially designed for determined women.
This 8-day trip to Iceland brought a sense of awareness both to me personally, and to this brand.
New Perspective from a Trip Becomes the Driving Force Behind a Brand
The Republic of Iceland (below, Iceland) floats in the North Atlantic around Northern Europe, and is a volcanic island that continues to grow and develop even now as a result of volcanic activity and tectonic plate movements around it. It truly is overflowing with the Earth's natural energy, and is a living island. Traveling around this magnificent island by car was the genesis of a Japanese organic clothing brand with an important thematic focus. This is "Skinware," a company that handles one-mile wear for casual trips, as well as lingerie.
In September last year, "Skinware" had its first display event of the brand's relaunch in New York, and this year in February it has finally made an appearance in Japan. We spoke with Hiromi Kani, who felt drawn to Iceland by some unseen guiding force, about the concept of awareness. This idea is not only part of the name of this brand, but also one of the concepts on which it was founded.
Iceland has a strong association with the aurora lights and the blue lagoon (hot spring), but for Hiromi Kani the musical impression of the country was stronger, due to export artists such as Björk and Sigur Rós. At this point, through a combination of encounters and fate, she found herself drawn to the country as if possessed, and proceeded to take a trip to Iceland for 8 days.
She did not go through any kind of organized tour, but instead decided to drive around the island by car, at the suggestion of a travel-loving friend. Due to the timing of this trip, her arrival in Iceland came immediately before the announcement of Skinware's new collection. Resolutely flying off away from Japan, she was struck by the dynamic natural scenery all around her, which resounded in her heart.
"There are no people, and there is no sound. All around there is nothing but the naked and unspoiled Earth. The setting sun shines down on the land free of any buildings or human intervention of any kind, and is swallowed up by the magnificent landscape. Dynamic waterfalls crafted by the forces of nature, and endless roads stretch out as far as the eye can see. When you look upon these kinds of surroundings, it changes you, and gives you a feeling of being reborn or awoken from a deep sleep. This is the inspiration for the Skinware brand, and the base on which it was created."
There are 3 current brand concepts.
"Skin Aware: awareness of your own skin."
"Self Aware: awareness of your own personal existence."
"Earth Aware: awareness of the Earth and nature around you."
"This trip was an experience that brought me back to my starting point as a designer.
With the beautiful natural landscape before my eyes, I was filled with a feeling of thankfulness. When I returned to Japan, I brought this new perspective with me, and after seeing the buildings all around me and showcases overflowing with various products, I felt that I no longer wanted to work in a job with the sole purpose of selling people things. Up until this time, I had always worked with a commercial intention.
I don't mean to say that this method wasn't effective. It's just that now I'm driven to give shape to my precious experiences (through my designs, words, and message), and I feel that delivering this kind of content to the people around me is the best thing for my own happiness.
I want people all over the world to have the chance to experience the pure and unadulterated emotion that I experienced in Iceland. It's like an infection of joy. Even more than that, I can think of nothing better than maintaining the emotion I experienced at that time while continuing to live my life here in Japan! I've been puzzling over how to bring the essence of travel and daily life in the city together, and the conclusion I came to is that putting my experience into the fashion industry where I work is the best way to combine these two elements. And of course I'm planning to keep going on more trips!"
The organic cotton used in Skinware's product line is produced without agricultural chemicals or the defoliants commonly used during the harvesting process. This is out of consideration for not only the Earth's environment, but also the manufacturers' facilities.
The lineup features soft bras, shorts, and other lingerie items. There are also tank tops with lace and gather details added to their design, all expressed with the texture of organic cotton. The one-mile wear is designed for relaxation even while on an airline flight, and uses materials chosen for their comfort, resulting in beautiful silhouettes and delicate fabrics. The collection features delicate and graceful designs, with products such as basic tops and pile fabric hoodies, among others. Each product is delivered with a tag of Iceland landscape photo featuring the concept message.
"My own message can be carried through this clothing, based on my own personal experiences, and it will allow me to share the deep impression that my trip gave me. If people then wear this clothing and take trips of their own, that would be a delightful scene.
Skinware is an ideal brand to guide people on journeys of their own. Then, by sharing their own inspirations with other people, that message can be passed on, bringing happiness to the world.
Skinware is like a tool to make this happen. The moment when people experience a new perspective is different for everyone, but I hope that when people wear this clothing it can give birth to a new outlook or feeling for them as well."
Hiromi Kani's eyes sparkle with life as she discusses the brand.
"When clothes are alive with will and determination, it's a wonderful thing. For me personally, this brand makes me want to always continue working carefully. Moving forward, I hope to continue to find opportunities to visit various areas of the world I'm interested in, and take influenced and inspiration from my surroundings."
Who knows what kind of collection will spring from the hands of this woman, after she finds something new on another trip. We can't wait to find out.