Wafuku.co.uk had a kimono featured in Elle magazine (you can see it below, modelled by the singer Rita Ora) and the site has been featured in Scotland on Sunday's Spectrum magazine, in their In Style features. You can see the article further down this page.
Wafuku.co.uk was also in an article in 25 Beautiful Homes magazine and is in a French book called Objéts Du Desire Au Japon, by Agnés Guiard.
How it all began
I started collecting kimonos some time ago. I love the quality of the fabrics, the idea of wearable textile art and the sheer 'other worldliness' of them, being so unlike our clothing here in the western world. I got somewhat carried away and the quantity I owned got very out of hand, filling an entire room with large boxes of them, then a hefty overspill of boxes in a second room too, eventually taking over my entire home. I decided to sell many of them, reclaiming some space, recouping some of the money I spent on them and allowing me to still buy another one now and then.
Wafuku.co.uk is a one woman operation; I selected and bought all the items, catalogued them, photograph them, I designed, made and maintain the site and database, designed the brochure and business cards etc and deal with all the emails, packaging and posting and everything else required. The only assistance I get is from my daughter when she models some of the kimonos for me.
Almost all my Japanese items are vintage ones because that is what I prefer. The fabrics are exceptional, as is the quality, and they have been owned by Japanese people, not made to be marketed to the west or to tourists, it makes them seem more genuine and more Japanese to me. It also makes them affordable, as even the plainest, brand new, pure silk, hand sewn kimono would cost thousands of pounds (£ UK GBP), so would be impossible for most of us to ever own.
I offer genuine, vintage and antique Japanese items of prime quality, in wonderful condition, with clear and honest descriptions and plenty of photographs. If you seek authentic Japanese traditional garments of all kinds, you will find I have a large variety for both men and women and even some for children plus a smattering of other Japanese goodies. Feel free to email me about any further information you think I may be able to offer about the items on my site.
One must bear in mind that most are vintage items, which I strive to describe accurately and honestly. A very few smell of mothballs or a touch of vintage mustiness, most do not. I usually mention it in the listing if one does but one must bear it in mind as a possibility when buying vintage and antique items.
Please be aware that different monitors display colour slightly differently, so colour in photos is purely a guideline, as I can't foresee how your monitor will display it. While I try to describe colour sometimes, a description often conjours up one colour to one person but may suggest a different colour to another, so, again, colour description is just a guide to colour.
Feel free to ask any questions about delivery or the items on my site.
I have a Wafuku Blog (opens in a new window/tab).
I am also on Google+, if you too are Google+, feel free to add Wafuku Kimonos there.
Below is the photo of Rita Ora modelling one of my kimonos in Elle magazine.
Photo by Thomas Whiteside, for Elle.
Here the article about this website, from Scotland on Sunday's Spectrum magazine, and part of the article in 25 Beautiful Homes magazine in which wafuku.co.uk was mentioned, with information I provided and a photo of a red kimono from my site. There are two minor points I'd amend in the first article: Firstly, I don't buy directly from the Japanese kimono auctions, since I am not in Japan; I bought from Japanese people who do live there, who get their kimonos at these auctions and from estate sales, then make many of them available to me. Secondly, I am not 50; it should have said 54 but I think the interviewer couldn't remember exactly what age I'd said but did remember it was 50 something, so played it safe with 50.
Wafuku.co.uk was also in an article in 25 Beautiful Homes Magazine. You can see part of it below.
*NOTE I cannot give a value for other people's items nor suggest garment ages for them and I am not buying more stock. If looking for a valuation of an item you own, I suggest looking at my items, finding something similar to yours and going by the price of that.
Wafuku.co.uk is mail order only. No collections or visits. Wafuku is an online store only and offers mail order only. It is run from my home, so customers cannot visit to view, try on or collect items. My stock is all packed in large boxes and not on display or on shelves for customers to see in a shop setting. Please do not request pick up or visits, as I will have to decline your request
The 'geisha' in the garden, shown below, is my long suffering daughter, who patiently allows me to photograph her in an endless array of kimonos to display on my site, allowing people to see what many of them look like when on. In the photo below, she is wearing one of her own kimonos; that's the kimono that made me feel I had to own one of my own and got my addiction to kimonos started