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(Archive) KD26–A

Wearable typography

This project was part of DDW 2023
KD26–A — © Photo: Jesse Claus

KD26–A is a contemporary kimono, designed by KD26. The design studio will create 26 wearable artworks, integrating the letters A to Z. Along with its accompanying publication, KD26–A is exhibited at Kelderman en van Noort, where a second, unique version is crafted on-site.


KD26–A is the first of a series, consisting of 26 wearable artworks, which will visualize the letters A to Z. The letter A has been translated into a handcrafted kimono, created out of an upcycled 100% wool blanket.

Inspiration for the coat was found in the traditional Japanese kimono and in the origin of the used material itself. The shape of the letter A is based on a ‘moving grid’ and is integrated into the coat with a recycled cotton cord using an enlarged and evolved tufting technique.

The kimono is contextualized within a magazine with the same title. This publication serves as a lookbook with in-depth information about the vision and the process behind this work.


KD26–A is the first statement-piece created by fashion designer Korinna van Balkom and graphic designer Daan Rietbergen which marks the start of their label KD26. Van Balkom collaborates with diverse designers and artists to create exclusive fashion-items, while Rietbergen designs timeless typographic systems that are brought to life in various ways.

KD26 operates at the intersection of fashion, typography and art and will ultimately realize 26 distinct artworks, starting with the letter A and ending with the letter Z. The garments are the result of form, material and system research.

Experiment is of great importance as it allows KD26 to push boundaries. By working together and using their specific strengths, the two designers elevate each other. Van Balkom brings Rietbergen’s typographic forms to life by systematically and delicately translating them into textiles, while Rietbergen’s unique visual language leads to unexpected adjustments in Van Balkom’s moldings. These parallel processes elevate the garments to unique works of art.

Fashion as a form of art

KD26 takes a critical look at the contemporary fashion industry, where mass production and environmental pollution are the norm. With their work, they aim to revalue fashion as a form of art, designing and crafting each item with respect and consideration for materials, craftsmanship, aesthetics and the environment. They hope to contribute to the awareness of the true value of a garment and the creative and intensive process that lies behind it.

By choosing for a single unique statement piece and embracing sustainable materials and production, they oppose the masses and mass production - KD26–A is exclusive in both design and edition.

During DDW 2023, the kimono and the magazine will be showcased at Kelderman en van Noort, where the two designers will also create a second unique edition of the kimono in a different color scheme. This way, visitors get the opportunity to see the intensive and artisanal production process.

KD26–A detail front — © Photo: Jesse Claus

KD26–A detail inside — © Photo: Jesse Claus

KD26–A — © Photo: Jesse Claus. Model: Destiny Osamagbe Imade.

KD26–A — © Photo: Jesse Claus. Model: Destiny Osamagbe Imade.