Fashion Brand KUDEN to Protect Working Environment and Traditional Kimono Culture


International big design competition A’Design Award gives award in social design category to Japanese designer Takahiro Sato 

Japanese designer Takahiro Sato won the A’Design Award in social design category 2019-2020.
The Social Design Award is for products and projects including social projects, social value proposals and projects for society.

Branding and Samurai Mode Series designed for people all over the world to wear in their daily life easily are evaluated as social design.

3 feature of social design by KUDEN is below:
・Next Kimono Platform

KUDEN practice proactively for their “Ethical”, considers deeply to nature, place and life of the people who supports their products. Instead of customers, KUDEN studies if the fabric and sewing is good for nature and the working people. It provides products with that information and uses “Transparency” so that its customer can make a judgment by themselves.


The Kimono Platform has a function to expand kimono market to the world. Regarding kimono as 1 design, it’s redesigned as daily-use kimono without special technique to wear so people in the world can enjoy it in their daily life as usual wear. It makes more demand of kimono and connects to protect kimono culture and technique.

KUDEN has come out with a short Promotion Video that puts those feeling on social design. The cover image for A’Design Award is a scene from PV. Wheelchair dancer Kenta Kambara who played at the closing ceremony in Rio, expresses hope and feeling, “Correct the environment and I want to make a place that producers can smile to through by dance”. View limited release of PV (Trailer) here- https://youtu.be/vCuZc7f6C64

Takahiro Sato

Meanwhile designer Takahiro Sato said, “I’m overjoyed from bottom of my heart to receive the A’Design Award, it means I’m amongst great designers and am elated to receive this long-established award”.

The reason why I applied to this award is I want to tell people who are/were in similar situation as me that we can make our dreams come true if we put in efforts and never give up.

I gave up to study design in college and began to work to help my family so I have a “complex” to call myself designer; but now for the first time I can call myself one at  43 years old. I decided to make the place to work with my disabled son now living apart, overcame my complex, can call myself a designer and finally made my brand KUDEN and my first clothes Samurai Mode Series.

For this brand and clothes, I receive this award even on behalf of my staff, artisans, friends and customers who have always supported me. From now on, I strive to try my best to live up to expectations of the people related to this award and my brand.

To protect working environment and traditional kimono culture by social design for branding and clothes

Now, internationally there is a big problem about the working environment in sewing factories, forced to work for unfair low wages and short term. As an ethical brand, KUDEN keeps 40-50% cost rate and publish costs of their entire product and defray fair wage to workers in their sewing factory. Also Samurai Mode Series is designed to protect the slowly disappearing Japanese traditional kimono culture by redesigning the traditional piece that will be suitable for modern daily life.

Thinking outside the box of used-remake and regarding kimono as 1 design, it would be a breakthrough in redesigning. It would also expand the kimono market to all over the world; creating demands and saving the kimono culture and technique.

Designer Takahiro Sato aims to actualise the employment for disabled people. He wants to make KUDEN the place that makes creators smile and people can develop this traditional technique and pass on till the next generations.

The A’ Design Award and Competition has a very well developed methodology for choosing the best designs using rigorous evaluative criteria, blind judging processes, score normalisation, cross matching and more, to reward only the best designers and firms that truly deserve special recognition. For more information, log on to: https://competition.adesignaward.com/index.html

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