Mikimoto Kokichi, the son of a noodle-shop owner, seemed unlikely to play a role in transforming the jewelry business — or influencing fashion, for that matter. From a working-class family, Kokichi dropped out of school in Toba, Japan as a teenager, and began selling vegetables in order to support his family. While working, he became fascinated with pearls as he watched pearl divers from a nearby port bringing in their daily trove.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"