How it started
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 over-spill 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 do everything myself. The only assistance I get is from my daughter who now and then models some of the kimonos for me. That is my daughter in the photo with the purple kimono.
Almost all my Japanese items are vintage ones because that is the type 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.
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.
Note that I will not give valuations for anyone else's kimonos nor information about them, so please do not ask me to, and please don't offer to sell me any kimonos, I already have more than enough to supply me for decades to come, so I am not planning to purchase more. Any such emails will be ignored by me.
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 conjures 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 about the items on my site.
I have a Wafuku Blog (opens in a new window/tab).
In The Press
Wafuku.co.uk garments have been featured in Vogue (Polish edition), Grazia and Elle, in 25 Beautiful Homes magazine, in Beyond magazine, in Spectrum magazine, in FT's How To Spend It magazine, Harrods magazine, as well as in the magazines AnOther and Ponystep.
Items from my website were also featured in the book, Objéts Du Desire Au Japon, by Agnés Guiard.
Above is a photo of Rita Ora modelling one of my silk kimonos in Elle magazine.