I'm Dyan, the founder + designer behind Cultural Detour. I spend my days spinning tales of lands near and far, peering into lives and histories, exploring loves lost and found. Each of my designs is created by hand, individually sewn and distinctly imagined with you in mind. Every fabric has a rich history of its own and a story to tell.
The story of each kimono begins in the hands of an expert artist, who carefully places individual strands of thread on a loom, weaving elaborate patterns into luxurious silk. That silk is then hand-dyed and stenciled with an endless array of motifs and textures, each carrying their own significance. Living in Okinawa, I eagerly search the local markets for vintage kimonos. I carried them back to my studio and release those long-forgotten tales, piecing and sewing them into sustainable, classic designs for women around the world to carry forward.
With each design, I want to share with you the rich history of a country that I wasn’t born into but have come to adore. I’m delighted to create soulful designs from storied textiles that build connection between cultures and times past. We live in a world of fast trends and disposable wardrobes. A time when textiles are made in industrial factories by people we’ll never meet and faces we don’t recognize.
Unlike many of the garments created in modern times, antique kimonos are a reflection of how clothing was cared for 80 years ago. These garments were cherished, each stitch removed, mended and put back together with love. When you invite a Cultural Detour piece into your home, your dreams mingle with the past. Your wardrobe becomes a reflection of historical and cultural ties, elevating your everyday style into one of sophistication and one which is steeped in tradition.
I want this experience to be something more for you, for your wardrobe, for our world. These scarves connect you to a greater story while celebrating sustainable fashion. I’m so thankful for this journey and the places it’s taken me along the way.
I was eight years old the first time I saw a kimono but I remember that moment with perfect clarity. The little girl wearing it reminded me of a princess- she was fantastically elegant and regal. Mesmerized by the rich silk and vibrant colors, I was intrigued by a culture so very different than my own. The designs, colors, and symbols enchanted me.
I first came to Japan more 28 years ago. My father was in the Air Force and our family relocated to Okinawa, Japan. It was a grand adventure, and I was grateful to be immersed in such a beautiful country and rich culture! Little did I know: the day that I first gazed upon that sweet little girl in her majestic kimono was a day that would radically alter the course of my life.
Years later, I moved back to Japan with my husband and daughters in tow. Life has a funny way of coming full-circle, doesn’t it? He’s an Air Force man, too, and I found myself just as smitten with the kimono all these years later. In a local antique shop, I came across an 80-year-old kimono that beckoned me.
As I held the silk in my hand and rubbed it between my fingers, I wondered about the woman who must have once worn it. What was her name? Where did she live? How did she spend her days? What worried her, what ignited her passions, in what did she take pleasure? My imagination sparked with possibilities.
I wondered if I could breathe new life into this vintage textile, reinventing it somehow so that I could carry her story with me as I wore it. I thought of her as I carefully deconstructed it: ripping the ancient, hand-placed stitches from the silk, carefully measuring and cutting and placing fresh stitches into the cloth.
I transformed that captivating kimono into a beautiful modern scarf that will last another lifetime or two. The experience was intoxicating, energizing and exciting me in ways I could never have anticipated.
Today, I delight in sharing that experience with others. I invite you to join me as we discover and connect with new cultures and forgotten times. Take a look around and be inspired.