Japan-born and based designer, Yohji Yamamoto has been creating clothing for over fifty years. He graduated from Keio University in Tokyo with a degree in law before pursuing a career in fashion. Along with Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo, Yamamoto was at the forefront of an influential wave of avant-garde designers who emerged from Japan in the 1970s and early 1980s. He's a master tailor, who's collections consist primarily in his favorite color, black with pops of ultra-brights. Here are his thoughts on street style, fast fashion, women, and more ...
On women: “For me, a woman who is absorbed in her work, who does not care about gaining one’s favour, strong yet subtle at the same time, is essentially more seductive. The more she hides and abandons her femininity, the more it emerges from the very heart of her existence.”
On street style: "Without even noticing it, in my own collection I have moved away from the street style. At a certain point, I stopped seeing my clothing worn by people on the streets . . . It seemed like they were being treated as museum items."
On fast fashion: "About five or six years ago I felt strongly that my role was done. But nowadays, especially in Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles, everything is covered by fast fashion. Faster, faster, cheaper, cheaper. People have started wasting fashion. So suddenly, there was some space again for me to do something."
On his Y-3 brand: "It all happened spontaneously. In the beginning we just wanted to borrow some ‘three stripes' trainers from Adidas for my Fall-Winter 2000-01 show. In Japan, the three stripes were everywhere, and the young crowd did not take them off even when it was time to go to bed. So I decided to ring up Adidas and ask them. I was sure that they would refuse and was pleasantly surprised when they said yes."
On the color black: “Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy - but mysterious. But above all black says this: 'I don’t bother you - don’t bother me.'”