“I was inspired to make this piece after getting into the streetwear community and learning about designers like Rick Owens and Rei Kawakubo, who integrate traditional clothing into avant-garde streetwear,” Caulfield told Nextshark. She also mentioned that she didn’t name the piece, made out of men’s dress shirts and boxer shorts, but that netizens have lovingly termed the garment the “kilt-mono”.
Caulfield said that creating the piece made her feel closer to her heritage. “I had to learn about kimono etiquette and why things are the way that they are while constructing it,” she said.
“For example, you always wrap the kimono to the right, when you are dead your kimono is wrapped to the left. I didn’t know that before!”
As for the feedback, she says it’s been great. “I didn’t expect this piece to resonate with people because it is so personal to me, but I have gotten so many kind messages in appreciation of my work.”
“Some people think it’s ugly, but I think it’s ugly-cute, like a pug.”
Despite the overwhelming popularity of the garment, Caulfield doesn’t consider herself to be a textile artist.
“I would consider myself to be more of a painter; I have done a couple other pieces celebrating my mixed heritage and cultural fusion, but they are paintings.”
Be sure to follow Maya Caulfield on Instagram.