Neo Kimono releases innovatively traditional heel covers made from artisanal fabric

The new “Obi de Boots iki” line of footwear represents a modern take on traditional styling.

Neo Kimono has banded together with Tokyo’s vocational Vantan Design Institute to pave the way for a traditional take on modern pumps with the Obi de Boots iki heel covers. Designed by stylist Chihiro Hitomi, the covers are made using gorgeous patterns from Nishijin silk fabric, a traditional textile from Kyoto that’s been produced for over 1,000 years.

▼ Obi de Boots iki lend a stylish flair to pumps that also makes them appear slightly taller than ankle-high boots to the casual observer.

The lineup currently features 10 pattern varieties with four colored pumps to choose from, though buyers can also simply purchase a pair of covers and attach them to their own pumps as long as their heel height clocks in between 4-7 centimeters (1.57-2.76 inches) and the instep is 5.5 centimeters or larger. Shoe sizes for the lineup range from 22.5-25.5 centimeters, increasing in 0.5-centimeter increments.

▼ The 10 fabric pattern varieties

It’s important to note that Nishijin fabric is typically used not only for kimono and obi, but in interior cloth and hanging decorations as well. Therefore, incorporating the fabric into the actual design of a wearable accessory is not being disrespectful to traditional art forms, contrary to this recent Valentino ad which featured a model walking in heels on top of an actual obi.

▼ How would you mix and match the patterned heel covers with traditional garb?

Neo Kimono is taking pre-orders for Obi de Boots iki on their website as of April 2, with the lineup limited to 500 exclusive pairs. Pairs of the pumps/heel cover combined pieces cost 44,000 (US$400) each, while pairs of the heel covers alone cost 33,000 yen each–a steep price, but perhaps to be expected given the high quality of Nishijin textiles. Orders are expected to be shipped in mid-May.

For more modern takes on traditional Japanese fashions, check out these kimono robe overcoats or these slip-on hakama-style roomwear sets.

Source: Neo Kimono via Japaaan
Images: Valuepress 1, 2, 3
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