How Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto Paved the Way for Japanese Designers

How Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto Paved the Way for Japanese Designers

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Japan became a focal point for innovation and ingenuity. A new school of design was emerging and challenging the conventions of the West. Two ambitious and unconventional designers rose out of Tokyo in the 70s to join the giants of Japanese culture and redefine fashion. Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto set the standard for what would be considered anti-fashion. Their designs set them apart from the norm. Their collections were some of the first to be rejections of the world of ultra glamour and took the world by surprise.
Disproportionate and asymmetrical cuts and the wide use of black defined Yohji’s and Rei’s aesthetic. Though they never collaborated, and actually competed on a regular basis, the two presented their first runways in Paris together. Breaking and creating the rules as they went, the pair formed an intimate relationship that lasted until the 90s.
Throughout those early years, Rei and Yohji set themselves apart from the rest. Forty years later and their impact is still felt.
Back to Editorials