I have been keeping a secret from you for the past 9 months. It is a project that is incredibly dear to my heart. In the coming weeks it will be unveiled for the world to see, but before it is fully out in the world I want to share with you the inspiration and journey that got us here.
Last year, a dear friend and person whom I deeply admire reached out to me with an idea she had been exploring in her heart and mind. Emi Ito, a mother, educator, and ethical fashion thought leader, turned forty last year. This birthday was significant for her; it marked the entrance into a new decade, the same one in which she lost both her mother and father to AIDS. This birthday brought up so many questions for her and these questions were only amplified with the current pandemic mirroring the pandemic she lost her parents to. Remarkably, and admirably Emi decided to channel her questions to create. Two questions she shared with me included, “What am I leaving behind for my child?” and “What legacy can I leave to honor my parents?”
When Emi reached out to me she articulated a project that would bring beauty into the world and honor her mother and all the artists of her matrilineal line. She wanted to create a capsule collection inspired by her mother’s impeccable style, but it was more than that. Over the past many months Emi and I have had conversations about generosity, accessibility, inclusivity, as well as design. With this collection, which we have named the Yoko Capsule after Emi’s mother, Two Days Off is expanding our size range for the first time since changing our production model from made-to-order to small batch. We will be donating a portion of the proceeds to causes we believe in. And we are starting a new initiative called the Community Fund to increase access to sustainable fashion. I will be sharing more about each of these initiatives in the coming days and cannot wait to get your feedback on them.
For now I want to end with this, thank you Emi for being such a dear friend. Thank you for your constant support and thoughtful guidance. Thank you for trusting me and Two Days Off with such an important tribute. And thank you to your ancestors: you great grandmother, the tea master; you grandmother the calligrapher; your aunt the noh singer; and your mother, the koto and shamisen player for blessing us with you.
I came across this story while searching for interesting and sustainable plus size fashion— and as I read it I found it to be familiar. I know Emi and had the pleasure of meeting her when she came to me with an idea 20 years ago to create a summer camp for mixed race and transracially adopted kids, like she once was. We created the Fusion Summer Program, and I also had students in my class on Asian Americans of Mixed Heritage make childrens books and donated them to Emil’s class. I am so happy to see another story of collaboration and inspiration with this wonderful woman!
Oh your pieces are just stunning! I’m so thrilled to find her website and become a member of your enthusiastic community. Warmly Edie
This is so beautiful 😭 Can’t wait to see the collection and congrats on expanding to small batch orders to increase sizing 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Beautiful. I look forward to the collection.