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【Feature】 Mikimoto

MIKIMOTO

MIKIMOTO

What is MIKIMOTO?

Born in 1858 in the town of Toba on Japan's Shima Peninsula, Koichi Mikimoto was the first in the world to successfully produce a cultured pearl in 1893 from native Akoya oysters. Japan’s first specialty pearl boutique was opened in Ginza in 1899, and Mikimoto Gold Work Factory was established in 1907 as a dedicated manufacturing facility for Mikimoto Pearl shops. In 1913, the first overseas Mikimoto Pearl Store opened in London, soon to be followed by Mikimoto locations in New York, Paris, and other major international cities. Aiming to develop original jewelry, Mikimoto pioneered the production of innovative pearl jewelry by incorporating elements of Western designs. In recognition of his company’s superior quality and sophisticated techniques, Mikimoto was given the honor of being the official jeweler of Japan’s Imperial Family. In 1972, the company’s name was changed to K. Mikimoto & Co., Ltd., and soon after began expanding to include diamonds and other precious stones. Today, the brand has become known for more than just their exquisite satin pearls though they still own the largest share of pearl business in the world.

Collaborations with MIKIMOTO

Mikimoto doesn’t often agree to collaborations, but when they do they pull out all the stops. In 2014, they teamed up with Sanrio to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty by creating a 20-piece collection of luxury jewelry featuring the famous cat. Coming in at $300,000, the Hello Kitty necklace, showcasing cultured pearls, rubies, onyx, and diamonds, might be a bit out of your price range; however, you can always get the pearl Hello Kitty bangle.

Similar Brands to Check Out

If you like what White Mountaineering has to offer, be sure to check out the brand that gave Aiba his footing, Comme des Garçons, or the select shops Beams and United Arrows. If you like all things luxury, Japan has found its name in the international fashion circles through designers like Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and Kansai Yamamoto.

Where to Find MIKIMOTO

In addition to Mikimito’s flagship store at its prestigious Ginza address, the internationally recognized leader in pearls still has its locations in Manhattan, Paris, and London, further cementing the brand’s reputation as on the world’s most sought after high fashion jewelers.

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