Event Report: kay me talk show with andu amet’s Hiroko Samejima

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Long time kay me blog readers might remember our wonderful interview with andu amet founder Hiroko Samejima.

Hiroko founded andu amet in 2012, a high-end brand specialising in producing luxury handbags made in Ethiopia by locally trained and supported artisans, using quality Ethiopian sheepskin.

kay me stylist Yoko gives us a glimpse into our recent talk show held at our Shinjuku store and members club, with Hiroko in conversation with kay me founder Junko Kemi…

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Hi everyone, it’s Yoko from kay me Shinjuku!

Lat month we held a special talk event with andu amet founder Hiroko. Prior to the talk show, andu amet items were on show here at our Shinjuku store and guests could touch for themselves the super soft sheepskin and see all the lovely colours and designs. All the kay me stylists and I were so excited.

For the event, we prepared drinks and nibbles and Junko Kemi even specially selected which wine to serve!

As we don’t use a podium for our talks, the speaker and audience are closer, creating a more connected atmosphere.

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Hiroko gave us great insight into working as a founder and manager in Ethiopia and shared a lot of advice.

We received a lot of questions, and time flew by!

As part of the audience, I felt so lucky to hear this talk session between two designs and founders.

I think many people are now considering entrepreneurship!

After the event, Hiroko and Junko both exchanged business cards and networked with the audience, and as a stylist I loved pairing kay me items with andu amet accessories.

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Our next session with a new guest speaker will be at the end of March, and I can’t wait!

Until next time… Yoko.

Scarf styling, from kay me

To celebrate the launch of our beautiful new stole collection from kay me Select, we’ve put together our three favourite ways to style a scarf, from simple to slightly complex.

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In the name of making the most of your scarves, knowing a few quick ways to tie a scarf can give your outfit a totally different look…

Style one: simple loop

A great style that works with all kay me scarves, fold your scarf in half, wrap around the neck and tuck the ends through the loop.

Style two: ribbon loop

kay me stylists love this easy stole trick! Similar to the simple loop, fold the scarf in half and wrap around the neck. This time, instead of tucking of the ends all the way through, pull through halfway and arrange the second loop to create a pretty bow-like effect.

Style three: rolled loop

Add an upgrade to any outfit with this elegant style. Start with a shorter length of scarf on one side and wrap the longer length around the neck to create a loose loop. Ensure the ends of the scarf fall evenly, and tuck through the loop at the front. Pull the ends a little for a tighter look or leave loose.

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Handwoven in India by expert artisans working in a top atelier, kay me Select stoles have been specially chosen in person by founder Junko Kemi.

Junko can be spotted wearing a kay me Select on most days, and uses them not only to keep warm in air-conditioned offices and spaces, but also to protect from UVA rays in cars and taxis, and also to add lovely splash of colour whatever the weather.

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Made from 100% pure cashmere and silk blends with delicate lace, beading and foil print details, discover kay me Select scarves available now.

Print Story – Florals

Hi everyone, it’s Yuko from the kay me atelier team here again!

Today I’m giving you a little preview of our flower print that will be released later this week…

It’s almost March already, spring is just around the corner, and we’re really in the mood for florals. The flower shops here in Tokyo look so beautiful and fresh.

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Our key word for this spring is 満喫 (mankitsu) meaning “fully enjoy” – we want you to fully enjoy spring with kay me!

I’ve been planning a whole flower print festival so you can find your favourite flower print.

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We recently held a talk event at our Shinjuku store, and Junko Kemi, kay me’s founder, wore this yellow print – it was very popular with her audience. We’ve also made a version with pretty blue gradation flowers on a pink background, and I imagined a sandy beach for these colours.

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How about wearing our green flowers for meetings or presentations? The bright colour feels fresh and helps you stand out. Keep an eye out for more variations of our beautiful blooms coming soon!

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For our flower festival, Junko asks “which flower would you like to wear?

I’d like to wear all of them!

How about you?

Looking forward to next time… Yuko.

Three Ways to Wear Navy for Work

Navy is one of our favourite neutrals, adding warmth and depth to any outfit. kay me stylists like to recommend pairing navy with white and pink for spring and summer, and grey and jewel tones for autumn and winter. But how about for the office?

If you’re searching for a way to incorporate more navy into your work wardrobe, then look no further…

1. Solid colour dresses

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The foundation of a functional closet, solid colour dresses in navy can be worn in countless ways – simply change up accessories such as necklaces and scarves, as well as jackets in matching or contrasting colours.

Find kay me dresses such as our sack, cache-coeur, waist-gathered and Venus drape dresses, all pictured above, in a variety of cuts to suit every style, each handmade in Tokyo by artisans working with years of experience.

2. Docking dresses

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Contrast is the name of the game for our docking dresses, a way to wear navy that combines the look of a skirt and top in one easy to wear and wash dress. Our Office Animal dress features a loose-fitting top in pink and navy animal print, and our navy leopard dress has an asymmetric skirt with crossover hem. Pair both with matching navy jackets for an office-appropriate look with a healthy splash of style.

Add interest and extra colour to our navy and white docking and milano rib dresses – see our selection of handwoven scarves specially chosen by kay me’s Junko Kemi.

3. Suits and outerwear

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A classic navy suit will always be a worthwhile investment, and naturally we have a wonderful variety of workwear designed by and for busy women on the go. Our new trousers are stretchy and comfortable, and the perfect partners for our range of suit jackets in three lengths. For cool days, try our rich pure wool jacket which combines warmth and practicality with elegant tailoring.

For an extra layer in cold weather, our stretch wool coat in navy with flared A-line skirt and hidden snaps keeps out the chill while the strong seams enhance the design.

Print Story – Perfect in Polka Dots

Hi everyone, it’s Yuko from the kay me atelier team! Today I’d like to tell you about our popular polka dot print…

Did you know that polka dots are called mizutama (水玉) in Japanese, with the characters meaning drops of water? It’s such a pretty image!

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Of course, everyone is familiar with polka dot patterns, for fabrics as well for tablewear and other items. One of Japan’s most famous artists, Yayoi Kusama, uses millions of polka dots in her artwork too.

Dot prints are a standard classic here at kay me, and we’ve previously released polka dot print dresses including our navy dot V-neck gathered dress and navy dot chiffon dress.

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Even if you just say “polka dot” or “dot print”, a lot can be expressed through the arrangement, colour, size and artistic design.

For our recent dresses we decided we wanted something a little cute, so we considered various ideas and looked at the history of polka dots: Polka folk dancing was popular in the late 1800s, and this type of dot print was also popular at the same time so it became known as “polka dot”. Smaller dots are called “pin dots”, while large dots are named “coin dots”.

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When you wear kay me polka dot dresses it looks like you’re dancing!

Our new polka dot dresses are available in two styles: our classic feminine cache-coeur A-line dress, and our asymmetry docking dress with contrasting skirt. We recommend styling these dresses with navy and white jackets for the office, and kay me’s made in Japan knitwear for cool days. Don’t forget that our pearl accessories are also a great match!

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Until next time… Yuko.

Dressing for Valentines Day

Whether or not you’re romantically attached, dressing up for an occasion is one of our favourite ways to spend a little time pamper ourselves. Some of the kay me team’s best evenings out have been in the company of our partners, family, friends, and simply by ourselves for true quality time.

Here’s a round up of some of our most popular dresses for dates and dinners and dressing up just because you feel like it:

Solid colours

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(Pink cache-coeur dress, peach swing dress, red cache-coeur dress, burgundy flare silhouette dress)

Pinks and red will always feel romantic, feminine and dramatic. Look sweet in pastel and pale pinks, or cool in our rich red tones. Designed to flatter your natural figure, A-line dresses can be easily dressed up or down.

Prints

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(Caroline double twist dress, Cherry Flower dress, Office Animal venus drape dress, Wagasa pink dress)

From florals to animals and authentic Japanese kimono prints, you wont find our original prints anywhere else. Printed using advanced techniques, kay me designs stay bold and bright for longer.

Sparkle

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(smokey pink dress, pink lustre halterneck dress, lavender lustre wrap dress, blue lustre one-shoulder dress)

Shimmer and shine in our softly sparkling dresses, just made to catch the light. Stretchy and fully washable, our kind of glamour is comfortable as well!

Inner dresses

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The perfect match for kay me dresses, our pretty and silky underdresses in silver, gold and bordeaux feature a luxurious lace panel, separate cups and softly draped style.

 

Six Japanese Proverbs for Inspiration and Motivation

Statistics say that only a mere 20% of new year resolutions are kept by February, and less than 8% of people achieve their full new year goals, which everyone can agree is pretty low.

At the kay me atelier in Tokyo today we’ve collected some of our favourite Japanese proverbs (諺 – kotowaza) to keep us motivated this January and well beyond:

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案ずるより産むが易し (anzuru yori umu ga yasushi)

Translation: Giving birth to a baby is easier than worrying about it

Worrying never helped anyone! Don’t put off that big project because you’re worried about, instead dive in and start working – you’ll feel much better.

虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず (koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu)

Translation: If you don’t enter the tiger’s cave, you can’t catch its cub

He (or she, or they) who dares, wins. If you don’t even try, you’ll never have the chance to succeed…

雨降って地固まる (ame futte jigatamaru)

Translation: After rain falls, the ground hardens

Difficult experiences can toughen us up – sometimes in unexpected ways. We love learning from mistakes, and try our best to treat everything as a learning point.

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花より団子 (hana yori dango)

Translation: Dumplings over flowers

Or, substance over style. At kay me we’re so lucky that we can share substance and style with our amazing customers around the world!

七転び八起き (nana korobi ya oki)

Translation: Fall seven times, stand up eight

It’s a classic for a good reason – when our print designs have to be reworked or a pattern isn’t quite right, we get right back on track (sometimes after a soothing green tea or walk around the atelier!).

継続は力なり (keizoku wa chikara nari)

Translation: To continue is power

Similar to the above phrase, it’s possible to find power in perseverance, whether that’s learning a new language, sticking to good habits or even starting your own business just like kay me’s Junko Kemi.

Join us throughout the year as we continue our journey from Japan to the world! 

The Secret to kay me Comfort

Hello everyone, it’s Yuko from the kay me atelier team here!

Right now we’re looking forward to summer, and preparing for next autumn and winter – we’re working hard every day and it’s often a struggle but I’m always excited to start planning for the new season.

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The other day, we checked the toile (3D draft for clothing) for my new design, which I always look forward to.

First when we make clothes such as dresses and jackets, the patterner who creates the paper pattern works with our fit model to create shapes – the designer shows the initial sketch to the patterner who then makes a 3D version.

The relationship between the designer and patterner is very important, as even if the design is wonderful, unless the intention and feeling of the garment is conveyed to the patterner we can’t fully create what the designer envisioned.

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The patterner is responsible for developing the silhouette of the overall clothing, but also the more subtle points of cutting and draping, as well as how the clothing fits the body and how comfortable it is to wear. Depending on the finished pattern, the fit, finish and comfort of the clothes will be completely different.

This relationship supports kay me’s core value of “instant elegance”.

 

One after another, new designs are developed… it’s so busy in the atelier!

Until next time… Yuko.

Introducing… New Spring Suits, from kay me

Here at the kay me atelier in Tokyo, we’ve been working hard creating our amazing new range of suits to meet the needs of busy women around the world.
kay me was created by Junko Kemi, herself a successful consultant in Tokyo, as a way of making her own line of office-appropriate clothing that worked for her in terms of style and practicality.

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This spring we’re very excited to announce our new suits, including jackets, dresses, skirts and trousers, with coordinating tops.
Read on for a closer look at our super suits…

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Our classic tailored jackets are now available in seven colours, including beige, white, pink, black, light grey, grey and navy. Our tailored jackets feature side pockets, a self fabric covered button and classic notched collar. Our bolero jackets in white and navy have turn-up cuffs and a standing collar that draws the eye upwards.
In grey and navy and new for 2018, these jackets are also available in special longer and crop lengths, each with a shawl collar that can be styled as you like. Pair our longer length jacket with trousers, and the shorter length with dresses.

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Designed to match our jackets, new mermaid-style skirts and hourglass dresses are also now in store and online. With a gentle flare and sharp seams, our skirts are the last word in feminine elegance. For those looking for another way to expand their working wardrobe, our 3D stretch dresses in white, pink, light grey and navy create an effortless hourglass figure with perfectly placed tucks and panels, plus handy pockets for everyday small essentials.

Get ready to bend and stretch with our chic trousers in our special soft and stretchy fabric, available in grey and navy. A centre pleat and medium width makes legs look longer, and four pockets and belt loops keep things practical. Fully machine washable like all our suits, these pants are also crease-resistant.

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The perfect partner for our new suits, our twist tops have been redesigned with three-quarter sleeves and the same eye-catching asymmetric front twist, now in French macaron-inspired vanilla, grape and strawberry pastel shades.

Discover your new kay me suit style today, with free global shipping as standard.

Getting Organised for the New Year

As we welcome 2018, it’s a great time to embrace (or brush up!) our organisational skills. Whether this means cleaning out your closet, sorting the files on your desktop or investing in a new pen and paper planner, taking a small amount of time makes a big difference later on.

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We asked our Japanese customers which methods they prefer for keeping track of their schedules, and the results proved very decisive! Here’s the final breakdown:

Paper planner – 62.9%

Other scheduling apps – 11.4%

Smartphone/tablet in-built scheduling app – 10%

Google calendar – 7.1%

Paper calendar – 5.7%

Company’s own scheduling system – 2.9%

It seems that our Japanese customers by far prefer traditional pen and paper when it comes to scheduling and planning. It’s no wonder, as Japan has some of the most beautiful stationery made from ancient techniques, as well as practical solutions including the world-famous Hobonichi Techo planners.

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kay me’s Junko Kemi loves her leather-covered schedule book, with a week on one page and free list-writing space on the other. It’s familiar sight at the kay me office!

For those on the hunt for Japanese stationery and goods, we recommend the century-old Itoya store as well as Tokyu Hands, both just a short walk from our flagship store in central Ginza.

Happy planning!