*I was sent free item(s) to review however all opinions are my own.
Let me tell you a little something about where I live. If it’s not summer or winter, it’s this weird mixture of everything. We call it spring and fall but truth be told, it’s freezing one minute and searing hot the next. I wish I was kidding but I’m not! Google “utah weather memes” and you’ll see how true this is. The most predictable part of spring and fall is that it is FREEZING in the morning and by the afternoon you’re wanting to strip down. Do you wear long sleeves and be cozy in the morning and melting by noon? Or do you wear short sleeves and turn blue in the morning and feel fine around lunch time? Sure, wearing a jacket on your waist is on trend right now, but every. single. day.? No thanks. When Kiso Wear reached out to me I just about cried. Their power sleeves are EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED. Thin enough fold away when you don’t need them, but thick enough to keep you warm. Cute, fashionable, and UNIQUE. Oh and did I mention? Practically PERFECT for yoga! (Have I mentioned I’m getting into yoga again?)
Before I continue here’s a little chat I had with Melanie over at Kiso Wear…
Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself?
Sure! I’m Melanie. I’m a designer and working mom in NY, where I live with my husband and 2 little boys, Griffin and Beckett. I had worked in fashion for a long time before having my kids, so when I finally DID have them, I rejiggered my work life so that I could work from home more and not miss out on this really unique and special time with them. I’m now an independent retail consultant as well as craft organizer, bunk-bed fort constructor, and recipe director. And of course, I’m a new entrepreneur, as I launched Kiso Wear last November!
What inspired you to begin Kiso Wear?
I was inspired to create Kisos to solve a perpetual daily challenge: how to “pack” for a day that flashes hot and cold, works for school drop offs, business meetings, workouts AND nights out — without hauling a small suitcase around? I’m one of those people who is “always cold”, so at work I always have the same black cardigan on the back of my chair and at the gym or playground I always have a big ol’ hoodie tied around my waist. I was tired of schlepping stuff around and wanted one versatile, easy and chic solution. As I discussed this with girlfriends and colleagues, I found I wasn’t alone. And when I created a hack- version of Kisos out of some old yogawear and tights, I found women stopping me everywhere to ask me where I got them — from city playgrounds to grocery stores to cocktail parties. That’s when I knew I was onto something. That was a little more than a year ago.
I’m curious, is there a story behind the name, Kiso Wear?
KISO, pronounced /kee’-soh/, is a Japanese word meaning “foundation,” “basis” or “underlying principle.” I love the simplicity in Japanese design and packaging. I want the KISO brand to celebrate fashion, function and smart design.
You currently live in New York, how does life there inspire your business?
Clichéd as it may sound, I love NY! I’m inspired by all the art and food and fashion and diversity here, for sure. But I would say NYC has also forced me to be an editor. Our apartments are smaller, forcing us to make choices about what we can keep at home. And travelling by foot, bike, subway or taxi, we are forced to edit what we take with us. Hence my passion for minimalist design!
Your pieces have been shown in some exciting places/events, such as New York fashion week. How were you able to achieve this and how does it affect your business?
Another great thing about NY is that you’re only a few degrees of separation from just about anyone or anything. I’m lucky to have a personal connection to some great designers who kick off NYFW each season: Nicholas K. They have a great urban-chic look to them and let me join in their VIP goody bags and attend the shows. It’s been great for networking and getting exposure for a small start up like me.
What is your favorite design/color to wear from Kiso Wear?
Of course I love them all! ☺ but the Black Classic Sleeves are my go-to. I actually launched with only that style back in November. Talk about minimalism! I got such a great response though, and customers were immediately asking for thumbholes in the sleeves. So I rolled those out quickly, along with fashion colors and striped patterns. But you’ll always find a black pair in my purse—they’re a no-brainer and instantly bring a touch of modern chic to any outfit.
Any exciting new plans we can look forward to?
Definitely! I’m working on a higher-end version of Kisos in cashmere, maybe even a rib texture. They’re going to feel amazing! I’m also working on KISO Kids. My boys and their friends steal my Kisos all the time. They play superhero in them, but also just use them because they don’t want to put on jackets! I’m color dipping some fun, bright colors. In fact, the boys helped me choose colors from our neighborhood paint store!
Where can we find you on social media?
Pinterest – @kisowear
Just opened a Snapchat account (@kisowear), but haven’t posted yet!
YOU GUYS. These sleeves are amazing. I really can’t get over it. They have not gone anywhere without me since I got them Oh and that rib texture, I’m going to need to get my hands on those. Please, do yourself a favor and head over to kisowear.com and grab a pair. But before you do, let me hook you up. Sign up for their newsletter and use code MEANDMYLITTLE for 15% off your entire order. Expires June 15. 1x use per customer. OH! Always Kiso Wear ships internationally! Holla.
Check out the vibes I have going on with my power sleeves and let me know what design you’re wanting to snag.