about Ema Sono


Floral designer Ema Sono grew up in Tokyo, and remembers spending time in the garden with her grandmother learning about each flower, choosing  which ones to cut and arrange in the traditional style.  

Ema took an alternative path from the family tradition of ikebana, leaving for the US to study fashion and aesthetics at the post-graduate level.  But her floral designs reflect the insights she gained from these early experiences: the appreciation of imperfection, the recreation of natural forms, and the attention paid to each tiny detail.

In the PhD program at UC Santa Barbara, Ema studied notions of aesthetics, and the classification of taste. She researched elements of fashion including trends, classic themes, and timeless beauty, as well as style categories ranging from quaint to kitsch.

Ema was especially interested in the pursuit of the peak level of quality through use of highly valued materials.

All these life experiences and training are evident in Ema Sono’s modern floral designs.  She describes her style as contemporary urban Japanese but her keen eye and awareness of current fashion and arts scenes are also evident in the minimalist style and the modern rococo elements she incorporates in her work.