A curated collection of vintage Japanese textiles for textile collectors, artists, designers, and those who love to make new from old.
Honoring Hella Berg's love of fashion design and Japanese textiles
Daughter of a German father and a Japanese mother, Hella Berg was born in Japan in 1922. After graduating from the German School in Tokyo, Hella began working at the Central Motion Picture Exchange. Evenings, she designed clothes for the wives of American officers who had joined their husbands in Japan after World War II.
In 1949, Hella immigrated to the United States on a student’s visa. She studied fashion design in Los Angeles and received several awards for outfits she designed, custom-made and modeled. After receiving a B.S. degree in Fashion Design, Hella planned to return to Japan and open a boutique. Instead, she fell in love with and married Roger and became a mother and a part-time teacher of the German and Japanese languages in the Bay Area.
Summers, Hella and Roger would travel to Japan to rummage through the outdoor flea markets for antique Japanese tansu (chests) and textiles. Then, each fall, they would sell their wares at their Annual Home Show, including outfits designed by Hella, incorporating the salvaged remains of old hand-woven kimonos.
Hella and Roger both passed away last year at the age of 96. Hella’s daughter said that her mother would have been tickled to tears to learn that her textile remnants would be exhibited and sold at KOBO, her first stop whenever she and Roger visited Seattle.