HIROMI ASAI - Fashion designer, Writer, and Mother
Hiromi was born in Tokyo, Japan. She grew up surrounded by traditional Japanese culture: tea ceremony, Japanese traditional dance, Noh dance, and kimono dressing/tailoring. She started creating poems when she was in middle high school. Her poems were published several times in her teens on the major Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri Newspaper. She graduated from Faculty of Literature, Kokugakuin University in Tokyo. Her graduation thesis was the study of traditional performing arts, Kabuki. She has been writing novels and poems for a long time.
Hiromi moved to New York and worked as a kimono stylist, for advertisements (Verizon wireless, etc.), fashion magazines (Vogue, i-D magazine, etc.), broadcasts, and demonstrations. She became one of the first internationally recognized kimono stylists. Her activity was featured by various media including the New York Times. In 2016, she produced a kimono fashion show at the New York Fashion Week, budgeted at more than $65,000 by crowdfunding. This show attracted attention from all over the world because it was the first-ever authentic kimono show at the 4-big international fashion weeks, which was featured by Newsweek, NBC News and The Independence as well as various Japanese media. She established herself as a fashion designer.
Hiromi debuted the first menswear collection at one of the biggest trade shows for men's wear Pitti Uomo held in Florence, Italy, in 2017. Since 2019, she has been working with the US biggest independent fashion platform and boutique, Flying Solo in SoHo, New York and presenting her seasonal collections internationally at the New York, Paris, and Miami Fashion Weeks. She traveled all over the world for her presentation at every season.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, while she got more time to spend with her kids, she realized that she had lacked her precious time with them due to her business. In late 2020, she started creating this picture book with a papercutting artist, Akiko Kaneko, to convey her feelings to kids.
AKIKO KANEKO (Illustrator) - Cut paper collage artist
Akiko was born in Yokohama, Japan. When she was a child, my grandparents gave her colorful paint from overseas as a souvenir. She began painting and, ever since, have continued to be interested in art. She entered the arts university and majored in History of Western Art. She studied the Japonisme trend that prevailed in France at the end of the 19th century. She was able to integrate Japanese ukiyo-e styles into Western-style pictures and became enthralled with the idea of fusing the two. Finally, she began creating a lithographic style by cutting and pasting paper, and thus formulated a way of expression that is her own.
Since 2001, Akiko has been drawing illustrations for a serial column in the Asahi Shimbun, one of the most famous newspapers in Japan. In 2006, she was awarded as Shinpusha-sponsored “3rd Post Card Book Grand Prize.” Since 2008, she has been creating Japanese-style papercut New Year’s cards, which are designs familiar to Japanese people across the country. She is also famous for the creation of event posters for one of the largest Japanese bookstores in 2009. She is now doing freelance work and receive more requests than she can count from agencies, for advertisements, and more. Akiko holds exhibitions at galleries several times a year, in Tokyo and Niigata, Japan.
In February 2016, Akiko worked art creation for HIROMI ASAI collection in the New York Fashion Week, which were internationally acclaimed as one of the prominent papercutting artists.