Welcome to our special feature on our top summer suits. As the temperature begins to rise and the humidity levels along with it, for many businesswomen choosing the right office attire to keep them cool and comfortable throughout the business day is a must.
Our top 3 office suits series are popular with many women in Japan, for their lightweight, breathable materials and chic style, providing a mix of functionality and style to help them take on their work in the sweltering season.
See the features of our three series, Smart Stretch, Airy Stretch and Cotton Blend along with our recommended outfits!
Our Smart Stretch series features wrinkle-resistance and a wonderful stretch that is beloved by many. With machine-washability and a luxe thickness that lets you wear it all-year round, it is the perfect series you can count on to last.
The Smart Stretch series is also the most extensive suit range, with a variety of designs and colors to choose from to perfectly match your mood and style.
Craft a chic and clean style with our Smart Stretch two-piece ensembles. Choose between our Midi-length A-line Skirt that offers feminine style and coverage to below the knees, or our slimming Straight Trousers for a sharp style.
One of our most lightweight and luxurious pieces. Crafted using the latest in textile technology, our Airy Stretch series is silky smooth to the touch and incredibly breathable. With a subtle luster that heightens the style, this range of pieces are a pick for many women who want to bring a touch of elegance to the table.
Highly recommended by our stylists, pair the Biz Sack Dress with a matching jacket for a modern yet comfortable outfit. The dress offers a design and silhouette that is not too loose, not too fitted but still feminine and chic – even for casual occasions!
For those who want a soft touch to their clothing and prefer natural fibers, our Cotton Blend series are must-haves. Bringing the wonderful functionality and comfort of cotton, not only are the cotton-blend pieces breathable, they are also stretchy, machine-washable and offer better wrinkle-resistance than cotton-only options.
Enjoy the versatility and comfort of the cotton blend pieces from your business to private life which our kay me staff and stylists also love! We recommend pairing our cotton-blend jackets over your favorite kay me dress or matching with another piece from the same series for a chic look.
With a range of options to help women beat the summer heat, choose any of these series to enjoy better cooler comfort any day of the week.
Known for their four distinct seasons, Japan celebrates each seasonal passing by observing nature closely. One of the most popular seasons for tourists to visit Japan is during the springtime when the cherry blossom trees bloom. This magnificent scene has become one of the most popular symbols that Japan is known by. Like tourists, native people of Japan also hold cherry blossoms close to their hearts and celebrate the blooms each year by holding ‘ohanami’, or cherry blossom viewing, events. During ohanami, people gather under blooming cherry blossom trees and enjoy a small potluck-style banquet full of delicious food and drinks.
There are many ways to safely celebrate cherry blossom season this year, including staying home and having your own personal Ohanami! Here are a few ways people in Japan are celebrating this cherry blossom season.
A popular way to celebrate cherry blossom season in Japan is indulging in sakura-themed desserts! From macarons to doughnuts, well-known western desserts are infused with sakura flavoring and arranged to look like soft pink petals. For a more traditional taste, we recommend trying sakura mochi, a wagashi enjoyed in the spring that consists of red bean paste wrapped in pink mochi, enveloped in pickled cherry blossom leaves. This cultural dessert can be easily recreated at home, and is a popular pastime that is enjoyed by families, especially with young children. When making these traditional sweets with family or friends, we recommend wearing something comfortable, easy to wash and wear in and out the house, like our new Stretch Air Denim Pants, paired with your favorite top!
This spring, a popular trend that can be observed at many flower shops across Japan is the increased demand of “personal” sakura trees, which come in the form of branches or even small bonsai trees. This new trend, called ‘ouchi hanami’ (ouchi=home) is exactly how it sounds! Many people in Japan decorate their homes with these sakura trees and have small banquets with people within their home, or even by themselves.
Another tradition that comes with cherry blossom season is Yozakura, meaning night sakura. During the season, many gardens and parks illuminate special pathways for people to observe the sakura trees during the night. This magical and romantic sight is most popular to visit amongst couples of all ages. Like ouchi hanami, another trend on the rise is ouchi yozakura. Many couples are choosing to celebrate at home and having an indoor date night surrounded by softly illuminated cherry blossoms, complete with delicious food and drinks, and dressing up for the occasion. When dressing for your yozakura date, we recommend wearing a charming floral print dress to match the theme, like our Red Aroma Andalusia with its striking red and blue colors to complement the backdrop. Pair with a White Knit Bolero to dress up the style and soften the print!
Celebrate in Pink!
Cherry blossoms may not be available in certain areas, but that does not mean that the season cannot be celebrated. By simply incorporating sakura-colored items with your favorite outfits, you can bring this special season to those around you! For the full effect, wrap yourself in our Lavender Flight Dress. Perfect to wear out on a walk or to relax in at home, with a soft pink floral print that encapsulates the spring mood.
As the cherry blossoms bloom, it symbolizes the start of a new chapter along with new challenges. We wish you a safe and beautiful ohanami with these new ideas in mind to start off the season.
For more things pink, see our full range or get some Japanese-style inspiration with our Modern Kimono collection, with all our items made in Japan by our skilled artisans for a piece of Japanese craftsmanship you can take and wear with you.
As we approach our 10th anniversary here at kay me, we are thrilled to announce our newest store locations; Nagoya Sakae, Fukuoka, and Hanshin Umeda (Osaka)! With such diverse culture in Japan, each city is incredibly unique whether pertaining to dialect, scenery and landscape, or even specialty dishes. We’d love to take this opportunity to introduce our three new store locations, as well as the unique culture that surrounds them.
Nagoya is most famously known for their rich background in ceramics and textile, which has been said to have existed from the 12th century. Many of these traditional workshops and factories can be toured, and is the perfect location for kay me as it has a vibrant culture centered around traditional Japanese craftsmanship, a quality we strive to introduce to the world through our clothing.
The most iconic landmark of Nagoya is their castle, completed with a 48-meter tall tower and a moat. The tower has been renovated and now houses a museum for tourists to learn about the rich history of Nagoya. The castle is also dressed with Shachihoko, ornate carp statues with the head of a tiger or dragon, which has become a popular symbol many Japanese people know Nagoya by.
Our second store newly opening this year is Fukuoka, which will open on March 3rd, located inside of Fukuoka Mitsukoshi.
Fukuoka is said to be one of Japan’s largest cities, most famous for their resonance with the arts. From gorgeous museums and galleries, to quaint local theatres, the arts surround everyday life in Fukuoka, which can be observed by taking a stroll down any street. With such a deep connection with artistry, we believe that our new store will feel right at home.
Internationally known for their Reclining Buddha located within the Nanzoin Temple, Fukuoka is also known for their many temples and shrines, which are all surrounded by gorgeous greenery. When visiting Fukuoka, we suggest wearing comfortable shoes, like our Howa Howa Stretch Flats, as these sights will not want to be missed! Not only do they add a chic touch to any outfit, our vegan flats are lightweight, flexible, and feature 10 times more cushioning to ensure day-long comfort. Choose from a selection of 5 different shades and 2 premium-quality vegan materials, with each pair made by artisan shoemakers in Tokyo.
Osaka, the epicenter of the Kansai Region, is best known for its urban downtown scenery. Many historians hypothesize that Osaka was originally to become the capital of Japan rather than Tokyo. Known as the ‘city of water’ with its expansive canals and rivers spanning the area, the landscape made way for communities come together and flourish. Even to today, this bustling metropolitan area still grows, and the busy streets of Dotonbori are beautifully illuminated at night with bright neon signs covering every inch of each building. When visiting Osaka, we highly suggest walking down these streets and giving traditional cuisine, such as okonomiyaki and takoyaki, a try!
In contrast to the busy metropolitan area, Osaka also offers breathtaking traditional Japanese architecture present in their shrines, temples, and castles. One of the most popular landmarks is the Osaka Castle, which nestles right in the middle of the metropolitan area. The castle is surrounded by parks, gardens, museums, and even a shrine, and makes it the perfect location for an afternoon stroll to escape the urban jungle that surrounds it. With so much variety Osaka has to offer, we hope that our new Hanshin Umeda location will provide a go-to spot for busy women in need of versatile items that can be worn for any occasion.
With so many exciting landmarks to see for all three locations, we highly recommend grabbing a pair of our Howa Howa Stretch Flats with the kay me Soft Hoodie, available in 3 colors and 1 gorgeous floral print. The fluffy fabric is light and airy, and perfect for strolls! The hoodie can be paired with any outfit, including long skirts, for ultimate comfort without compromising style.
This hoodie can be purchased online, or in-store, including our 3 newest locations! Find your closest store on your next trip in Japan and discover more with our comfort-driven items!
As one of the sweetest holidays of the year approaches, many pâtisseries in Japan roll up their sleeves to create delicate, yet dazzling cakes and pastries for people to share with their loved ones.
Each pastry is created not only to look beautiful, but to be just as delicious and balanced in flavor and aromatics, much like kay me dresses. Our Made in Japan dresses are crafted by the hands of skilled artisans to not only look stunning, but to provide lasting comfort.
For Valentine’s Day this year, we have taken inspiration from the most popular desserts in Japan and created looks based on each dessert. Here are a few of the most popular cakes in Japan, and kay me dresses that are just as sweet:
In Japan, strawberry shortcake is one of the most popular desserts loved by all, and it is no surprise why. The light and airy whipped cream with fresh strawberries are delicately constructed between layers of soft, velvety sponge cake. This cake is sweet, yet refreshing, just like our Pink Dot Gather Dress.
This playful dress features an elegant mermaid-line silhouette and an adorable polka-dot print, which even look like piped whipped cream!
In Japan, Mont Blanc is served in a unique fashion compared to the traditional Italian dessert where the whipped cream is served on top. A buttery tarte layer is placed at the base, followed by a dollop of chestnut mousse. Then, chestnut purée is delicately piped around the mousse, giving its iconic mountain-like shape, finished with a light layer of powdered sugar. In contrast to the complex layering, the cake is subtle in sweetness, and the earthy flavor of the chestnut brings cozy comfort with every bite, which is reminiscent of our Mocha Beans Marilyn Dress.
The subtle Coffee Bean Print is met with the robust espresso background, balancing the two shades to make the perfect sweetness. Choose a Beige kay me Cardigan to pair with this graceful dress for wonderfully cozy comfort, like the mont blanc.
This gorgeous stretch docking dress features a flirty raspberry-colored geometric pattern, contrasted by a sleek black wrap-style skirt. By incorporating the two fabrics, the dress balances the playful print with the industrious black skirt, adding versatility and chic polish. This dress can also be paired with a matching kay me jacket to create an instant suit-like appearance!
In Japan, many pâtisseries have taken inspiration from tiramisu and have recreated it with a cultural twist by using traditional matcha in place of espresso and cocoa.
The striking green matcha contrasts the creme gorgeously, both visually and in flavor. The bitter undertone and grassy notes uplifts the creamy mascarpone layering, providing complex yet delicate balance; a key feature of traditional Japanese desserts. Like the matcha tiramisu, our stunning Hyakka Gather Dress and Kazehana Gather Dressperfectly balances modern with culture by incorporating a traditional kimono inspired pattern onto a fit & flare dress.
This breathtaking pattern was created by a top designer from London, and made using the traditional skill of “Gara-tori” by artisans in Japan. The design of the dress emphasizes a feminine hourglass figure, and makes it perfect for any special occasion!
Why not celebrate Valentine’s Day this year in a fun, unique way by styling your own kay me outfit inspired by your favorite dessert? Order in some special sweets for loved ones, and of course for yourself, to enjoy at home. Do not worry about dropping crumbs or spilling your after-dessert coffee on these dresses, as they are all machine-washable!
See more of our date-ready dresses here, each crafted by our artisans in Japan with free worldwide shipping available to any destination.
When it comes to special occasions in Japan, wearing a kimono is still a cherished tradition that holds a special meaning for many women. There are several types of kimono, but when you are celebrating a wedding, attending an formal party or even visiting your partner’s family for the first time, the houmongi is the kimono of choice.
What is Houmongi?
Houmongi is a type of semi-formal kimono which first appeared in the Taisho period (1912-1926) and it means ‘Visiting Wear’ in English. It can be worn by married and unmarried woman, and its design often has a pattern on hem and sleeve, sometimes sweeping up across the body in a diagonal direction. This type of kimono is typically worn for social visits or formal events where you want to be dressed up and have a respectful, modest or elegant appearance.
Kimonos in Modern Society
Wearing a kimono has declined over the years, due to its complexity, difficulty to wear, preference for modern clothing and more, but at kay me, the kimono is ingrained in our heritage and we believe it still has a place in modern society. To bring the kimono into the contemporary wardrobe for everyday or occasion wear, we have our new dresses directly inspired by Houmongi kimonos, the Hyakka and Kazehana dress.
Made with our signature stretch jersey for ease and day-long comfort and in our Gather dress pattern designed to accentuate the bodyline for an beautiful hourglass silhouette – it is perfect for making a striking impression and made to wear with modern clothing and accessories.
A Taste of Japan
We hope our dresses can spark more conversation about kimono and Japanese culture and make your next occasion that extra bit more memorable. Each dress is proudly made by our artisans in Japan and we offer free worldwide shipping to any destination. For more Japanese-inspired modern dresses, see our Modern Kimono collection, or to see more of the Visiting dress series, see our Modern Meets Culture page.
Seasons greetings and a Merry Christmas from kay me! We wish everyone a wonderful holiday this season and we hope everyone spends ample time with their loved ones.
Here in Tokyo, our office keeps running until New Years Holiday begins. See our Winter Holiday Services hours for more details on our operation hours over New Years.
At kay me, we have always strived to bring our motto of ‘Instant Elegance, Day-long Comfort” to the modern woman – to be there with them in their moments of glory and to support them in their times of challenges.
This year may have impacted all of us, and at kay me, we were more driven to rise to the challenge and find new opportunities among these times. With the year almost to a close, we take a quick look back at 2020 and prepare for what’s to come in 2021! Here are a few of the highlights!
At our Shinjuku Lounge, our Design Lab where we asked our customers what they want to see in the future from kay me
It seems like long ago since the time when we would dress up, maybe put on a pair of gorgeous shoes and go to a restaurant or café on a date. While the dating norm may have shifted online or to socially-distanced walks or picnics at the park, from time to time we still want to go back to those days and feel our most confident, and make the occasion more special.
At kay me, we want you to feel beautiful and your most confident, every time in our pieces and find the best solution for your occasion. So we bring you our top looks you can wear in these colder season that look great over a skype date and outdoors too.
Dazzling Touch of Glamor
Add a touch of sparkle and heighten the occasion with our Bijou range in tops and cardigans. With Swarovski crystal-embellished details that not only look elegant and classy, but frames your neck and face – perfect over online calls or meeting face-to-face! Made of a stretchy knit knitted in Kanazawa that you can machine-wash too, for warm, cozy comfort at home and out.
For the full chic ensemble, we recommend pairing the bijou pieces with its matching knit long skirt, that you can wear over leggings – elongating, elegant and providing complete coverage in the colder weather.
Step into the date with dark tones of reds and emeralds – both beautiful colors to capture the eye and deepen the mood. Each piece with a V-neckline that frames your neck and face on screen while also fits the A/W backdrop outside. And since our pieces are designed to accentuate the body and provide the upmost comfort out, you can feel better knowing you look great on screen or outdoors and even more comfortable too.
If you are looking for more warm with a feminine flair, then a knit dress is the perfect go-to. Our Milano Rib Knit range is super stretchy, made-in-Japan quality and comes in stunning vibrant colors that complete the autumn/winter style. From pure Milky White, romantic Cherry Pink, vibrant Red in round neck and V-neck, as well as cool and collected Olive or Charcoal gray. Not to mention, any of these dresses make for the perfect dress to work in – a versatile piece for any occasion!
In the first Bag Story, we looked at the conceptualization and initial design and construction process of the dream bag. In this piece, we look at the final steps of completion – the artisans’ last touches to finish the dream bag.
After the pieces were punched out using the 43 different molds, we thought it was time to sew; but there were many dire steps to prepare that followed.
The “Skiving” Process.
The pieces must be prepared accordingly with a before sewing could begin. The first being the “skiving” process. Here the artisan thins out the edges of the vegan material with his chisel in uniform fashion, making sure each edge has the desired thickness in order to bond all the pieces together seamlessly down to the inner lining.
The artisan doesn’t thin them out just once – each individual piece is thinned again around the outer edge so they can be folded and sewn with ease. Shaving each edge requires perfect control- guiding just the edge of each piece through the skiving machine and moving the piece with the curves – one mistake could leave the piece unusable. Therefore, only an experienced and skilled craftsman could handle this, for all 90 pieces for each bag. Such a meticulous and painstaking process and we could not help but admire the remarkable skill and perseverance that it meant to be a craftsman of this caliber.
A Matter of Speed and Accuracy
After the skiving is finished, the pieces must be reinforced with interlining, using a specific tacky glue that dries quickly. To paste the interlining and bond the pieces together, speed and accuracy are of the essence.
Time for the craftsmen to shine!
Now, we take a look at “Edge folding”. This process is all finished by hand, relying on only the craftsman’s hands, his tools and a lot of his time. Each edge is carefully folded to the desired shape The edges of the materials are carefully bent to create the desired line, and with curves the edges have to be pleated ever so finely for a natural, beautiful finish inside and out. This folding and pleating requires impeccable patience, and calls for the craftsman’s skills and aesthetic sense to shine through.
Meticulous Attention to Detail
Once the edges are folded, then it is time to start putting each piece together. As each piece varies in thickness, the sewing machine must be altered each time to best suit the individual piece. This step requires technical skills and intuition accumulated through many years of experience.
The Last Step: The “Quality Check”
After the sewing process, each bag is examined for its quality. They are thoroughly checked for lint, faults in the material, distortion, and any other imperfections.
And with the final check, the 29 Pocket Wallet Bag is finished!
Through the craftsmen’s experienced skills and artistry were we able to create the dream bag, and left a deepened respect for Japanese craftsmen, not only for their exquisite skills, but also for their ideology. We hope to be able to support the prosperity of their skills and traditions for generations to come.
The Final Product!
Simple, yet highly functional, with a sleek and premium couture design
Inside of the 29 Pocket Wallet Bag. Perfect for overseas trips and parties. Keep everyday essentials all in one place!
The lightweight material is water-repellant and cruelty-free
Storage for two separate currencies
Perfect for business scenarios, with 4 ample storage pockets to hold business cards
Place your IC card in the back pocket for an easy touch & go
kay me’s dream bag in fruition – the 29 Pocket Wallet Bag. See its full features and range on our website or to see more ethically, made-in-Japan bags, see our Bag Range.
In this 2-part article, we will take you behind the makings of one of our popular designs – the 29 Pocket Wallet Bag. In Part 1, we take you behind the story of its conception and explore the design and production process.
There was never just a bag that could do all the things that she needed – one bag that you can travel with, use for a home party or special event; even take to the office every day. The perfect bag with the versatility to use in all these scenarios, yet was compact and had ample storage for all her essentials. Frustration led to inspiration as Junko Kemi, founder of kay me, created the 29 Pocket Wallet Bag to resolve these problems.
The 29 Pocket Wallet Bag was designed by kay me founder Junko Kemi’s vision of the most ideal bag that could be used for overseas travel, business events, and dinner parties. She decided to list up what she needed in the new design from pain points she faced with her bags in different scenarios.
For example,for international flights…
It can store my passport, pen, and smartphone together
Have space to store eye drops and lipstick inside instead of carrying a separate makeup pouch
During international travels, it can store two currencies in separate compartments
Let me walk around the airport hands-free
Be super compact! The easier it is to carry, the easier the trip will be!
For business parties…
6. Have four separate card slots to store and organize business cards 7. Have special slots for important items such as credit cards and keep them close 8. It can easily store my compact foundation and eyebrow pencil for touch-ups 9. I can wear it as a crossbody when exchanging business cards or if I have a glass in my hand 10. Is simple, subtle and doesn’t draw too much attention from others, and I can easily cover my bag’s content from curious eyes
11. I can transform the bag from when I am on-the-go to a minimalistic clutch easily for dinner 12. I want something classy for special occasions – like champagne gold or silver colors
The list keeps on going!
But no bag was to be found that could meet all of these requirements, so instead, it was simply decided that we make it ourselves. And thus we began researching.
We began by asking a few simple questions like “How should we fit a passport in the bag?” “What thickness is necessary to fit both makeup and a smartphone?”
Taking all these points in, we started measuring the items and worked out a size that would fit all the items we needed.
Of course, a must-have factor would be it had to be made of vegan, sustainable, premium quality material and put together using only highly skilled craftsmanship
The Journey of the Dream Bag begins!
Bringing the Concept to Life
First, the process began from choosing what is necessary, functional, and smart to deploy. Each pocket size, width, and length was carefully calculated, and incorporated into the design.
When all these factors were deliberated on with our design team, the compact 29-pocket wallet bag was created – and we were all surprised by the amount of parts in this bag!
Finding the Perfect Factory
With the concept solidified, and the design drawn out, we began the search for a bag factory in Japan that would bring this design to life. After asking our peers and endless Google searches, we narrowed down the list and started making the rounds to several factories. Our complex 29-pocket wallet bag design made from vegan material was seen as a great challenge for many factories, and it was rejected by them.
Will it have to sacrifice its functionality and beauty for the sake of acceptance?
After a long period of searching, we finally found a bag factory in Yamagata that was up for the challenge. After sharing our vision and creating the blueprint, our prototype was finally made.
The prototype was made with the same shape, size, and pocket numbers as the final product so we could test the true functionality of it
Although this was still a prototype, seeing our concept become a tangible object was incredibly moving.
43 Different Molds!
After checking the prototype, the real production process began. First, the molds for the materials were made. These molds had a sharp edge on one side to punch through the material. The molds are made from a long, thin ribbon-like metal that is bent to create the desired shape and size. All of them were custom-made and shaped just to make this bag. On top of that, as the outer lining, interlining, and inner lining are all different materials with varying thicknesses, each pattern piece of the bag requires 1-3 different molds with different blades to cut that individual piece.
In total, 43 custom-made molds for this wallet bag was made!
The craftsmen used each mold to individually cut each piece by hand. 1 bag called for 90 individual pieces from the lining to outer, meaning the craftsmen had to hand-cut 90 times.
We asked the craftsmen if it was possible to layer the material to cut several at a time, but they responded that it wasn’t possible. It could only be cut one layer by one, as to not risk distorting the blade as it cut, leaving the pieces mis-matched and thrown away.
It was here that we finally realized how much work is needed to make this ‘Dream Bag’.
To see the range of 29 Pocket Wallet Bags, click here.Its story continues in Part 2 coming soon!
At kay me, we are always looking towards new technology to create elegant solutions to the modern woman’s wardrobe. This time, we took a look at the winter fur coat, and sought to develop a luxury alternative that was just as high-quality and beautiful, but made from 100% vegan materials made with the latest technology. Today, we will share a quick look behind our material selection process of our Eco Fur Coat.
Our journey to developing an elegant, animal-free ‘fur’ coats, started with finalizing the designs for the coats and setting up a meeting with our suppliers. There, we were surprised by what materials we were about to find.
The Supplier Meeting
During the meeting, a variety of material samples were introduced! We only choose the best quality materials there is, but there were more than we had anticipated! With such a high quality and feel, we were remarkably surprised by how far their technology had come. The faux fur samples had a softness and fluffiness that we never expected from it before – some of our staff could not believe it was faux fur at all! Even down to the wool samples, the softness was extremely close to the real thing. For the kay me designers, this was going to be a hard choice to narrow down.
The next step was to choose the perfect match of materials carefully, being wary of color, feel and quality. Other factors to consider where what colors would be, how it would brighten up your skin tone, the most versatile combination – all had to be carefully considered with a little bit of imagination.
After some trial and error, it came down to 2 colors – Pink beige for a softer, elegant and feminine touch, or camel beige for an all-round versatile color. In the colder seasons, there are many options for dark-toned coats, but we wanted soft-toned alternatives for an elegant impression. With the design and materials settled, it was time to go into sample production.
The First Sample
There is always excitement in the air when the first sample arrives in the office at kay me. Upon the first impression and then trying it on, we realized that the faux fur had too much volume and with the short-haired length, it looked too heavy on the coat. So it was decided to switch to longer hair-length faux fur for the next sample.
The Second Sample
With the second sample back, the verdict? A big ‘Yes!’ from head designer and founder Junko! The long-haired fur was still soft but looked and felt more lightweight, and had a gorgeous swirled texture that still looked natural.
The Final Result
The end result is a wonderful item of clothing made to put any conscious owner at ease in the colder seasons. To see more behind the story, take a look with our kaymedia page (only in Japanese) or see more of the Eco Fur Coat’s features from our Preorder page, available for shipping from October.