Soga Co., Ltd.
[Soga Co., Ltd.] Donated a wedding dress that did not meet our product standards to Yamano Beauty College. Representative Soga x Ms. Aiko Yamano Jane Talk has been realized
“I want to make kimono more familiar” Our company’s thoughts on kimono
Soga Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Hakusan, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo;
Representative Director: Yasumoto Suzuki), which rents and sells wedding costumes and celebration wear, sells dresses that cannot meet our product standards due to aging. Donated to a school (Headquarters: Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Principal: Jane Yamano Aiko). At a later date, we set up a place to talk, and interviewed about topics that are of great interest in modern society, such as kimono, thoughts on Generation Z, SDGs, and a comfortable working environment for women. [Image 1
History of the donation
Dresses that no longer meet our product standards due to old design or age. Even if it is difficult to use as a product in the field, we have donated it to various educational sites in the wedding industry with the idea of nurturing the next generation. On November 15th (Tuesday), we had a dialogue with Ms. Aiko Yamano, the principal of the school, who is actively promoting education related to kimono, which is one of our products after the donation.
Content of donation
(1) Date of donation: Friday, October 7, 2022
(2) Donation recipient: Yamano Beauty College Principal: Aiko Yamano Jane (3) Donor: Soga Co., Ltd. CEO: Yasumoto Suzuki
(4) Donation: Wedding dress
About the future
We plan to actively pass on wearable costumes that do not meet our product standards to the next generation and continue as long as possible as an eco-friendly, recycling-oriented sustainable
Giving opportunities, increasing choices, and creating change through challenges [Conversation between Representative Director Suzuki and Principal Aiko Yamano] Representative Director Suzuki, Aiko Yamano, Principal Jane, and Soga Group’s Beauty Division -bittersweet beauty- Mochizuki Manager attended the interview.
1: Please tell us about your efforts (environment creation), such as classes that make use of the characteristics and characteristics of students and young generation Z.
Soga Co., Ltd. (hereafter referred to as S): Our company’s beauty services include kimono dressing, hair and make-up, weddings, Shichigosan festivals, and coming-of-age ceremonies. I see it as a field that requires time. There is also a bridal photo studio business where even young people can play an active role.
Principal Jane Yamano Aiko (hereinafter referred to as Y): Yamano Gakuen has always wanted to give students opportunities other than national exams, and has established programs that other schools cannot. There are things that are included in the curriculum, and there are things that are not. When we receive event planning from outside, we often accept it. For example, recently, there was a period when it was suspended due to the corona crisis, but a project to go to schools such as American schools and interact with foreigners living in Japan to practice and experience hair and makeup and kimono dressing. It was resurrected. In addition, this year, I am
participating in hair and makeup and photography with Miss Universe as a model.
I talked about it at the entrance ceremony and open campus, but the five principles of “Bido” proposed by the first generation: hair, face, clothing, mental beauty, health beauty, and “Chance” and “Choice I tell my students to value the 4 C’s of (choice), “challenge” and “change”. First of all, “choice”. Thank you for choosing YAMANO. By choosing YAMANO, many “opportunities” will be created next. I will do my best to grab the chance I chose from among them and “challenge”. Then, not only changes in one’s technique and way of thinking, but also “changes” for one’s future, for the beauty industry, and for the world are born.
2: Is there anything you tell young people (students) today or what you value? S: The values of the so-called Generation Z have changed
considerably from the old days, and it seems that the retention rate of companies is getting tougher. I don’t really want to change the way I interact with people from different generations, but the way companies and new graduates interact with each other, which is commonly called “generation Z measures,” is an issue that our company is also facing. Is there anything you would like to tell the students who are studying right now, or something that they value in particular as they go out into the world?
Y: Yes. After all, it is the part related to “spiritual beauty” and “healthy beauty” in “Bido”, but in the past, I had the impression that YAMANO students would “never quit.” However, nowadays everything is speedy and I hate waiting. It’s getting quite a lot of people who quit when something happens. I think that people today have also suffered and endured, but I always tell my students that they should never forget their “feelings of gratitude.”
To cherish being alive now. It’s quite difficult for everyone to feel close to that, but I’m desperately doing trial and error to raise a heartful person. After all, I want you to put your heart into your work every day, rather than taking it for granted that you have a job. It’s not just the purpose of earning money, but in life, people who like work do their best and make efforts.
S: Is it really frustrating for some people who are so busy with the work in front of them that they don’t feel the joy of working for others? Seeing customers smiling and happy makes me feel happy too, doesn’t it? If you can feel that, you will definitely think that you are working for people. I want the staff to feel that as soon as possible. I think that it is much more important to have people feel it than to teach it in words.
3: Traditional Japanese Culture and Kimono
S: Our company is a clothing rental business, but the number of kimono weaving and dyeing craftsmen is decreasing year by year, and it is becoming quite difficult to work in Japan for embroidery and foil. There are some people who are teaching these Japanese techniques overseas, but I would like to leave them in Japan.
Y: That’s true. I think it would be nice to have both a comfortable, mass-produced kimono like a washable kimono and an artistic kimono that is truly “Made in Japan” made by craftsmen. However, Japanese kimonos, which are made by hand, are particularly wonderful. They have reached the realm of art and are displayed in museums.
S: In recent years, there has been a new dyeing method using inkjet printing technology, which makes it possible to mass-produce kimonos with modern and beautiful colors and patterns with stable quality, and at a price that many people can afford. It’s a charm. Since our founding, we have handled many hand-painted and hand-dyed pure silk kimonos, but we would like to handle both so that we can make proposals according to the needs of our customers.
Y: Many people tend to give up on kimonos because of the price and the hassle of storing and maintaining them. Ask twenty-year-olds when was the last time you wore a kimono? If you ask a question, the answer “Shichigosan” will come back. If wearing a kimono, even a yukata, is a part of school events and curriculum from elementary school and junior high school, and it becomes a habit to some extent, I think you can understand that wearing a kimono is not that difficult.
S: Yes. I always feel that it would be nice if kimono became more familiar. The Japanese kimono itself is one of the SDGs that can be used for a long time as long as it is maintained, and I think that is also the goodness of kimono.
5: SDGs initiatives, consideration for the environment, and measures Y: The most talked about topic in the beauty industry is how to use “cut wigs for training”. In the national exam, there is a pattern of cut assignments every year, and it is necessary to use 30 to 60 machines per student to practice. Considering environmental issues, we have to stop using wigs like this. About five years ago, I made a proposal to stop cutting hair in national exams. In that case, I think that it would be better to leave various patterns to each school to study instead of one pattern, and then leave it to the beauty salon where you work after graduation, but there are some people who are against it. increase. Also, the disposal of wigs is a big problem for beauty schools everywhere. Of course, the same is true overseas. S: How are you doing overseas?
Y: Overseas, we use actual “humans” to practice, including for national exams. Of course, dolls are also used, but if you’re new to a salon, you can use a time card, for example, to cut the first hour from 0 to 1,000 hours free of charge. In Japan, unless you are qualified, you can’t cut on a human, but in America, the situation is different, so people often practice like this.
S: We have been in the costume rental business for many years, so we have a lot of kimonos. not to mention. Although they can still be used in active service, there are some that will inevitably leave an old impression. We couldn’t bear to throw away such products, so a product remake plan was born.
The subject of the project was the hakama worn at the graduation ceremony. I tried to remake the plain navy hakama, which was purchased in large quantities in the era when it was more mainstream than now, by undoing the seams and incorporating the lace material that has been popular in recent years into part of the design. When we showed the completed sample to a young customer who is scheduled to graduate next year, the reaction was very positive, and we are now talking about moving forward with full-fledged plans for remake products in the future.
Luckily, we have staff who can do dressmaking and Japanese
dressmaking, including various maintenance, so let’s focus on people and have them play an active role in their specialty skills, while preserving high-quality products for a long time. Based on the idea of ”people”, it is an initiative that allows “products to be reborn”. Y: Nice! That’s nice!
○ Aiko Yamano Jane
Born in Los Angeles, USA. Learned “Bido” from her grandmother Aiko Yamano. In 1984, at Carnegie Hall in New York, she assumed the name Aiko Yamano II and inherited the title of “Bido”. Guided by the total beauty of “hair, face, clothing, mental beauty, and health beauty”, she devotes herself to the spread of beauty education and kimono culture as a leader in the beauty world with a rich sensibility and excellent international sensibility. Currently, President of Yamano Gakuen School Corporation, Principal of Yamano Beauty College, President and Professor of Yamano College of Aesthetics, President of International Beauty Association, Soke of Yamano Style, Councilor of Japan Institute of International Affairs.
○ Soga Co., Ltd.
Founded in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo in 1909 (established as a stock company in 1959). The founder’s words, “The costume is the person,” are all about wanting customers to wear a kimono in good condition, and the founder’s thought that he has continued to carefully repair the costume every night. This desire has been passed down through the generations, and currently, in addition to operating clothing rooms that handle wedding costumes and various celebration wear at Isetan Mitsukoshi (5 stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area), hotels, ceremony halls, and shrines in Tokyo, we also sell betrothal gifts and ceremonial items. , Beauty/dressing, wedding hall consultation, photo wedding, etc.
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