Kinto: Japanese Minimalism Design For The Home
The current wave of minimal design seems to be sweeping the nation. It’s quite noticeable on everything from people’s Instagram feeds to their wardrobe. “Less is more” has become an entire brand complete with a color palette, few stand-alone pieces, and fantastic use of negative space. The word, “minimal” plays different roles depending on the subject at hand, and when in regards to Japanese culture it is not a practice that is taken lightly.
The art of Zen, simplicity, and peaceful existence without excess is a huge practice in Japanese culture. The Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-sabi is all about appreciating the quality of simple and plain objects, it is an ode to the absence of unnecessary features. In the 47 years that Kinto has been in business, they have mastered this aesthetic with their everyday life products, and they’re ready to prove it with their new store at ROW right here in DTLA.
Before making their big move to LA Kinto solely operated as a wholesale online store for U.S. based customers. This marks their first showroom/store in the whole world, the second one opened in Tokyo just a month later. Clearly, placing their bets in DTLA and the ROW.
Kinto’s aim is to make you feel at ease, at home, and their space does just that. The natural light that comes rushing in through the windows allows the objects to flaunt their Fung Shuei and proud arrangement. From drink tumblers to tableware, tea and coffee instruments, all of Kinto’s years in perfecting the craft of quality and simplicity are reflected when browsing around the store. What truly blew me away was the fact that most of the items wouldn’t cost me half a month’s rent.
The products are made with the goal of, “fitting just right into your hands,” while adding elegant aesthetics to your everyday life. The pieces are designed to make you feel as soothed as possible upon using it as if it was made specifically for you. Their inventory grows with time, they’re definitely not stuck in the past by any means, for example, they just launched a coffee wear line. Don’t lie, you’ve been wanting a pour over coffee brewing set too.
Stepping into the store the vibe felt familiar, the National Sales Manager Adrian Yun says there’s a reason for that- Japanese culture is all over DTLA, “We’re really happy to be part of the growing ROW community, as well as being near Little Tokyo.” And he isn’t wrong, multiple other Japanese brands have been popping up all over DTLA recently and locals love it.
The shopping experience really comes together with a sense of purpose to transport you to a peaceful place. A vision where you can vividly imagine the memories to be made, around items that don’t take you out of the moment. What items have you ever come across that make you want to put your phone down and be present? Probably not many. Well, Kinto’s products have nailed just that.
Written by Mariana Ramos | Photography by Jack Strutz