Tying together Japanese culture and sustainability

CorrespondentApril 10, 2013 

Sometimes, an idea from Mom can be the start of something big. Such was the case for Raleigh designer Emily Waszak.

Working as a print designer for a textile manufacturer in South Carolina, Waszak was troubled by the amount of waste created by the mass production process. She wanted to find a way to marry her love of design with her passion for sustainability.

“I was wearing a kimono, one of the many that I bought at flea markets in Japan, and my mom commented that the pattern would make a nice necktie,” says Waszak. “It dawned on me that I could combine two things that I love, kimonos and menswear, while at the same time promoting eco-friendly design.”

And last year, WAYO textiles was born. The label – which draws its name from the Japanese word wayousecchu, meaning a blend of Japanese and Western styles – features Waszak’s bow ties, neckties and handbags made of repurposed vintage kimono fabric.

The richness of the fabrics used in kimonos made them a natural fit for the ties and bags Waszak designs.

“There is a quality about Japanese kimono fabric that is hard to find elsewhere,” she says. “And I am a huge fan of mixing Japanese style with Western style. I think there is something quite cool and a little unexpected about a bow tie made with a Japanese print on it.”

Waszak hand makes all of her pieces and sells them on her website, wayotextiles.com. This week, she travels to Japan for a month to source fabrics and take a Japanese textile course. She hopes to learn some new techniques to incorporate into her line.

“I am hoping to eventually expand the business to include more pieces that utilize traditional Japanese textile techniques, such as shibori and katazome, so that instead of just cutting and sewing vintage kimonos, I am actually creating new surface designs on the old fabric.”

What’s in that trunk?

Another round of spring trunk shows kicks off this week:

• Main and Taylor will have new spring and summer styles from VanEli in store 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thursday. Hard-to-fit sizes will be available, and refreshments will be served. Main and Taylor is in North Hills at 4421 Six Forks Road, Suite 114, Raleigh. 919-821-1556, mainandtaylorshoes.com.

• Summer looks from Worth New York will be on display through April 18 at 1909 Reid St., Raleigh. Sizes 0-20 will be available. For an appointment, call 919-833-6833 or 919-417-6455.

• Dovecote’s spring trunk show series continues this week with handbags, jewelry and more from MooMoo Designs on Saturday and Sunday. MooMoo’s accessories have a global look inspired by the African wild. Dovecote is at 2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro. 919-542-1145.

• Designer Wes Gordon will visit Vermillion in North Hills for a trunk show April 17-18. The designer will meet with shoppers and give a preview of summer and fall looks from his line. For more info, call 919-787-9780 or visit vermillionstyle.com.

The new Madden

Triangle shoppers can meet shoe designer Steve Madden during a meet-and-greet event at Belk Crabtree 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday. Madden will pose for photos with fans and autograph complimentary T-shirts and totes. Attendees who make a Steve Madden purchase during the event will receive a free gift, and those making a purchase before 9 p.m. Friday will score VIP access. For more info, call 919-782-7010.

Twice the deliciousness

Tanger Outlets in Mebane will combine food with fashion during their Taste and Style event Saturday and Sunday. The celebration will include cooking demonstrations, food trucks and a Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th fashion show at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tanger Outlets is just off Interstate 40 at 4000 Arrowhead Blvd., Mebane. tangeroutlet.com/mebane.

Send Stylin’ news and tips to jenniferbringle@gmail.com.

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