Madama Butterfly | Hong Kong and Tokyo, Japan


Patiently awaiting for her husband to return, she readies herself by wearing the most treasured pieces from her closet.  She wants to mark this special day with none other than gowns that proclaim celebration.  She wants the whole world to know how happy she is right now that her husband will forever be with her.

Unlike the synopsis of Madama Butterfly above, where she later finds her heart broken when her husband shows up with a new wife, Naoko Tsuruta’s kimono-inspired collection doesn’t have a sad ending.  In fact, Tsuruta wants to bring joy to those who wear her pieces by allowing them to have a little bit of Japanese tradition as part of their modern attire.

Coming from a jewelry design background where attention to detail is above all else, Tsuruta became fascinated with the intricate craftsmanship of kimono designs.  Whether it be the dyeing technique or the silver and gold embroidery seen on the pattern of kimono.  Her new obsession is what triggered her to launch a womenswear collection in 2009 using kimono materials.  It was a move to turn her dream into reality by creating a modern womenswear that strongly embodies Japanese art and traditions.

Although portraying a modern design, Tsuruta insists that her collections use the best traditional kimono materials that she can find.  She sources the fabrics from Kyoto, the city famous for its luxurious kimono and obi.  And for her couture collection, she often opts for recycled kimono and obi fabrics, as they often have unique patterns and were made using techniques that are no longer used.

Immediately after the launch, women began to flock Tsuruta’s collection.  She became the go-to designer for those who are looking for pieces inspired by delicate and intricate Japanese art.  The highlight for Tsuruta came when she was asked to design and produce the National Costume for the Miss Universe 2012 Championship contestant from Japan.  It was perhaps one of her proudest moments, an opportunity for her to show the world her creations.

Tsuruta is currently preparing  to showcase her collection at the New York Asian Fashion Show on September 18th, 2014 – an event organized by a Hong Kong based fashion blogger: Vicky Victoire GV Miao to showcase the work of up and coming Asian designers.

We wish Tsuruta the best of luck!  With the amount of achievement she has accomplished within a short period of time, we are certain that the show will be another success for her.


Naoko Tsuruta 01 | englave.comTo connect with Naoko Tsuruta: Website | Facebook 

Photography: Miya Gu | Model: Natalie Lunter (Charles Stuart International Models) | Makeup & Hair: Tarah Kostenko for MAC Cosmetics | Styling: Vibri Wulandari

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