Innovating Tradition at Hosoo
Hosoo was a kimono and textile company, established in 1688 as a traditional Nishijin weaving company. The 11th generation president of the company, Masao Hosoo, had transformed the business from a producer of premium kimono fabrics and kimonos for the luxury market in Japan to a globally respected textile producer for some of the world's top brands. A great deal of the company's success in the global market could be attributed to the master craftspeople of Japan. This innovative spirit guided endless improvements to weaving and textile development, allowing the highly specialized Nishijin textiles to be woven for use beyond the kimono market. Inspired by the results of their innovation and their global success, and driven by the collapsing kimono market in Japan, Masao and his son, Masataka, set a goal in 2018 to establish Hosoo as an iconic, international house of kimono, relying on innovation to reinterpret what a kimono was, how it was used, and what it meant within a global fashion market. Philip Sugai is affiliated with Doshisha University.