Q&A with Tom Cohn Founder or KIGU

I have a feeling that ‘you’ wouldn’t find it hard to slip on a Kigu for a cosy night in, or a wild night out on the town. There aren’t many ‘complete’ outfits, that are furry, have a tail, (and even a beak), that you can wear both in bed, partying at ‘The Box’, or at your little elf’s birthday party at the church hall – are there ?

kigu cat

Trust it to our ‘Bus Driver of the month (Grace again) ‘ to find a company that will provide all this and more, and here’s a little secret, you can even pop it in your chanel rucksack when packing for the Christmas Holidays or the festival season next Summer, and frankly, with a couple of Kigu’s in hand, and a full face of make-up, you needn’t pack anything else… (apart from your egg timer of course).

As we’re a little nosy, we found out a few secrets from one of the founders of KIGU, Tom Cohn. So here you are …go get a KIGU and go wild in the jungle, park, supermarket … or John Lewis you little devils. xo

kigu kids owl


The word ‘Kigu’ is short for ‘kigurumi’, which literally translates as ‘costumed animal character’ in Japanese. Kigurumi are already hugely popular in Japan, where they are worn as both streetwear and pyjamas. Kigu is the first company to bring these amazing animal suits to Europe.

Kigus are unique in the world of fancy dress. They hang loosely on the body, which makes them really comfy and unrestricting. You can slip in and out of a Kigu in seconds and you can even wear your own clothes underneath!

Each of our Kigu animals is lovingly represented, with exactly the right eyes, ears, nose and tail. The Kangaroo even comes with a joey in its pouch and the Chicken with a little chick in its pocket.

kigu tee

Hear it from the boss …

1. Why & how did you choose your career in design, or how did you launch Kigu?

When I was at university some people brought back these amazing animal onesies from Japan and I loved them! At the time I was going to a lot of festivals and I thought it was the ultimate festival product. After a recce in Japan I knew that I wanted to bring this product to Europe and share the fun of wearing animal onesies with the masses.

2. Did you enjoy art at school, and who or what inspired you when you were younger?

Actually I didn’t enjoy art at school. I was absolutely rubbish at it. I’m still absolutely terrible at drawing, painting, sculpting and anything like that. I was always into art though and loved going to galleries with my mum. The older I got, I started to realise that you don’t have to be good at ‘art’ yourself to work in the creative industries. I work with people who are good at putting any ideas I might have down on paper or computer screen.


3. What were your favourite books as a kid ?

Roald Dahl was definitely a firm favourite. And The Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle).

kigu unicorn

4. Who are your top 3 artists/ designers, and why ?

Picking three is really tricky. But most of my inspiration comes from friends and our shared experiences growing up. I’m lucky to have lots of creative people around me. Three of these would be Jamie Brown (http://jamie-brown.co.uk/), Anna Lomax (http://www.annalomax.com/), Lauren Davies (http://www.pillowstream.com/) and all my friends at ATG (http://atgldn.com/).

5. What is your favourite place for a weekend day out/ long lunch, or for a treat?

Hampstead Heath is always a treat on a sunny day. I went to schools in Highgate and Camden so have spent lots of time there. I love picnics and burnt sausages cooked on disposable barbecues.

kigu kids panda

6. Where would you love to spend a free afternoon, and why?

I’m an avid skateboarder, but I don’t get to skate as much as I used to. On a free afternoon I’d love to go to Victoria Park or down to the river for a cruise about.

7. Which art books, websites, or magazines to you love, and recommend to our budding creative youngsters ?

I don’t consume that much, but always check out http://www.itsnicethat.com/

kigu kids skeleton

8. What do you use for inspiration with your work ?

Kigu is all about fun. We’re inspired by what people do and use to have a good time. We want to facilitate people enjoying themselves.

9. What creative tools, can you not live without ?

MacBook Pro is a must.

10. Can you leave us one creative secret to share please ?

It’s OK to share ideas.

11. What success, exhibition or just plain fantasy would you like to have achieved in 5 years time ?

I would love to have designed a complete range of new products that have never been made before. We’re working on this now and will be bringing something super exciting out for festival goers next spring. Fingers crossed people like it!

Need to know more ? You can have a look at the KIGU website here, and buy costumes from ASOS & Urban Outfitters, and read more about Tom’s entreuprenerial cleverness here. Thanks for sharing Tom, we can see this is the beginning of a long and furry friendship. xo