LOS ANGELES, CA (FOX 11) - The traditional Japanese Kimono dates back to the 5th Century A.D.
The word “kimono” actually means “thing to wear” and today… it still is.
"I love how functional they are,” says designer Ibby Hartley. “I wear them at home. I wear them over jeans. I've also worn it as a dress. You can loop it around and wear it as a backless dress.”
Hartley got a handmade kimono as a gift two years ago and decided to start designing her own from an Abbot Kinney outpost called Open The Kimono.
Instead of Geisha and Samurai, Hartley’s customers range from soccer moms to hipster boyfriends.
“I find each person that comes in really finds something that works great for them,” says Hartley.
Hartley says she loves pairing different fabrics for each unique garment. The best part, she says, her kimonos are washable!
We quickly discovered they could be worn a variety of ways: as a robe, belted as a dress, even backwards. Hartley says although it’s inspired by the ancient kimonos of Japan and China, hers are a bit different.
“Ours is an interpretation that we're wearing in a different kind of way with a different intent,” says Hartley.
Long kimonos at Open the Kimono start around $225 and shorter jacket styles range between $140 to $300.