日本発・ネコの顔がルーヴルに?KEORA KEORAの動物たち The “kawaii” animal army taking over the Louvre

2016年1月撮影。フランス・パリで行われた「Who's Next / PremiereClasse」にて、

パリ、ルーブル美術館のミュージアムショップ「107Rivoli」。このショップ、いわゆる“美術館の売店”とはちょっと違う。展覧会のカタログやグッズ、アートブック、絵葉書などの定番品のみならず、オリジナルアクセサリーに食器、おもちゃetc. 世界中から集められた素敵な雑貨も販売されているのだ。その「107Rivoli」に、この6月からネコの顔……ではなく、“ネコの顔のカゴバック”が、加わった。

The Louvre, Paris. One very famous museum with an equally impressive museum shop, ‘107 Rivoli’. You see, it’s not like your average museum shop. Of course, there’s the classic postcard and art book selection, but there’s also an entire range of original fashion accessories, cutlery, toys and more random miscellaneous goods assembled from all over the world. From June this year, one particular product went on sale to great fanfare.

ブランドはKEORA KEORA。日本人の刺繍クリエイター、伊藤華織によるブランドである。「動物の顔が刺繍された“もこもこ”のiPhoneケース」といえば、「あ!」と思い当たる人もいるだろう。イセタンガールなど、さまざまなお店で取り扱われている“アレ”のブランドだ。

KEORA KEORAはなぜ、日本のみならず海外の人をも魅了し始めたのだろうか。クリエイターの伊藤華織(以下、華織)と、夫&ビジネスパートナーとして公私両面で支える伊藤幸太郎(以下、幸太郎)に、話を聞いた。

The item in question? This cute little basket with a cat face design by Japanese brand ‘Keora Keora’. Embroidery artist Kaori Ito is CEO - you may be familiar with her work from the fluffy animal face phone cases she created that were all the rage in Japan a few months ago.

‘Keora Keora’ is rapidly picking up pace as an international label, so we took the chance to interview Kaori and her husband / business partner Kotaro. What do they have to say about the ‘kawaii’ fashion boom?

動物や“モコモコ”が好きという感情は万国共通“The love for fluffy animals is universal”

Q.なぜ動物モチーフにそこまでこだわるのでしょうか?Why did you choose animals for your motifs?


Kaori : When I was a kid, I used to spend all day in my kindergarten’s rabbit hutch. It didn’t get better after I entered elementary school - in art lessons I’d always be drawing pictures of animals. So it was kind of a given that when I grew up and started to make stuff, an animal motif was the first thing that came to mind.

Q.ネコのかごバッグが、「107Rivoi」に置かれることになったきっかけは?What’s the story behind the cat face basket on that’s currently on sale in 107 Rivoli?

華織:2014年から、パリで毎年開催されているファッションの展示会「Who’s Next / Premiere Classe」に、出展し始めて。1回目の展示で、「107Rivoli」のバイヤーさんが足を止めてくださったんですが、その時はうまくいかず(笑)。2回目の出展で、「やっぱりやりましょう」と言ってくれて、去年のクリスマスシーズンからお取引が始まりました。3回目の展示に出したこのかごバッグも気に入ってくださって……というのが、経緯ですね。

Kaori : I was lucky enough to take part in a fashion exhibition called ‘Who’s Next / Premiere Classe’ that’s held annually in Paris. Whilst I was there, a buyer from 107 Rivoli came to talk to me. Our discussion didn’t result in any deal, but the next year I returned to the exhibition for a second time. That’s when the buyer came back and agreed to sign me. Our products started selling in the Louvre shop from Christmas 2015. So basically, the moral of the story is ‘don’t give up first time around’!

Q.日本で、パリで。KEORA KEORAが支持される理由を自己分析すると?Why do you think Keora Keora is doing so well both within and outside of Japan?

華織:お店でKEORA KEORAのアイテムを見た方が、「目が合った」「連れて帰る!」という反応をしてくれることがあって。まるで本物の動物と出会ったときのような反応ですよね。私には、とにかく「動物の魅力をそのまま活かしたい」という気持ちがあり、何かを足したりデフォルメしすぎたりしないよう、日頃から注意しています。だから、そうした反応をもらえるととてもうれしいし、動物や“モコモコ”が好きという感情は万国共通だなとも感じます。また海外では、コンサバやモードといったジャンルを気にせず扱える点や、独特の色の組み合わせ、日本的かわいさを含むアイテムとして、評価いただけているようです。

Kaori : In the Keora Keora shop, loads of customers fuss over the products like real pets, saying stuff like “our eyes just met” and “I’m gonna take you home!”. It’s really funny. I think everybody has a soft spot for cute animals, so that’s why I try to make our products as realistic as possible without using any manga-like effects that would make them harder to humanise. I’m really happy when that works and I can get a reaction like that from our customers. The love for fluffy animals is definitely universal. Especially with my foreign customers - it doesn’t seem to matter what fashion style they have, they just enjoy the “kawaii” aspect of the product for what it is and rock it with any kind of outfit.

Q. “日本的かわいさ”というお話がありました。KEORA KEORAが考える、「かわいい」の定義は?What exactly does ‘kawaii’ envisage for you?



Kaori : For me, it’s about capturing the cuteness of animals as they are. At the risk of sounding like a crazy cat lady, when I see cat’s upturned eyes when they want food, or the defenseless they show when stretching out in their sleep, or their perfectly spherical little paws, I can’t help finding them adorable. That’s the “kawaii” that I want to capture in my work.

Kotaro : Kaori once said to me that I don’t understand the true meaning of “kawaii”. I replied that it’s because cute things don’t excite me. I guess it’s just too complex for me to understand (laughs).

今後はさらにファッションアイテムを拡充し、「身に着けることで自然に体温や動物に対する心の温度が上がるものを作っていきたい」と語る2人。現在は、秋冬に向けてキツネやネコをモチーフにしたファーバッグ、おなじみのもこもこiPhoneケースなどを準備中だ。某ブランドや某キャラクターとのコラボ企画も進行中とのことで、今後はさらに、“KEORA KEORAの動物たち”を、街で目にする機会が増えそうだ。

The two of them go on to speak about how they are interested in making clothes to add to their ever-growing collection of animal goods. The upcoming Autumn / Winter collection is already filled with faux-fur fox and cat face design bags, new iPhone cover designs and various adorable little accessories and trinkets, all of which will no doubt find new owners within an instant. It looks like Keora Keora’s animal empire is only just beginning.



Embroidery creator Kaori Ito’s “kawaii” brand. After graduating from Nihon University and working as an engineer for seven years at Yahoo! Japan, Kaori made her own website and began to sell her own goods, growing the online shop into a successful business with orders from overseas clients such as the Louvre Museum in Paris. The brand name comes from the way her American friends (wrongly) pronounced her name whilst she was studying abroad there.