Comme des Garçons
|Key people||Rei Kawakubo, founder and designer
Junya Watanabe, Designer
Tao Kurihara, Designer
Fumito Ganryu, Designer
|Products||Apparel, Accessories and Perfumes|
|Net income||US $180 million (2007)|
|Employees||600 est. (2011)|
Comme des Garçons, written in Japanese as コム・デ・ギャルソン (Komu de Gyaruson), is French for "Like Boys", is a Japanese fashion label headed by Rei Kawakubo, who owns the company with her husband Adrian Joffe.
Comme des Garçons is based in Tokyo and also in the prestigious Place Vendôme in Paris, the city in which they show their main collections during Paris Fashion Week and Paris Men's Fashion Week. Each year, the company grosses about $180 million.
The Japanese flagship store is in Aoyama, Tokyo's high fashion district. The company also has concept stores Trading Museum Comme des Garçons and 10 Corso Como Comme des Garçons in Tokyo, and stores in Kyoto, Osaka and Fukuoka. Worldwide they have traditional Comme des Garçons stores in Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré in Paris and on West 22nd Street in New York, as well as stores in Hong Kong, Beijing, Bangkok, Seoul, Singapore and Manila.
Since 2004, Comme des Garçons has developed a market-based department store concept, stocking its main collections, its other brands, such as Shirt, Play, and a wide range of international designers. Its original market store, called Dover Street Market, is in Mayfair in London. In 2010, the company opened I.T Beijing Market Comme des Garçons, which was followed by a new market store in Ginza, Tokyo, in 2012 and New York in 2013.
The label was started in Tokyo by Rei Kawakubo in 1969 and established as a company Comme des Garçons Co. Ltd in 1973. It became successful in Japan in the 1970s; a menswear line was added in 1978. The year 1981 saw Comme des Garçons's debut show in Paris. It created a splash for its predominant use of black and distressed fabrics. Throughout the 1980s, Comme des Garçons's clothes often had the destroyed look.
After the Paris debut, Comme des Garçons exhibited photographs by Peter Lindbergh at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1986. In 1990 they held an exhibition of sculpture. The year 2005 saw an exhibition in Shinjuku, Tokyo of Comme Des Garçons advertising and graphic designs.
In August 2010, Comme des Garçons opened a 19,000 square feet (1,800 m2), six-level flagship store in Seoul, South Korea, featuring a branded art-exhibition space, the company's first outside Japan.
Comme des Garçons collections are designed in the Comme des Garçons studio in Aoyama, Tokyo and are made in Japan, France, Spain and Turkey.
The 1997 spring-summer collection, often referred to the "lumps and bumps" collection, which contained fabric in bulk and balls on the garments. This led to a collaboration, also in 1997, between Rei Kawakubo and New York-based choreographer Merce Cunningham called "Scenario".
The 2006 autumn/winter collection dealt with the concept of the "persona", the different ways we present ourselves to the world. Fusing tailored menswear with more feminine elements such as corsets and flower printed dress fabrics, "Persona" was another collection that combined the feminine with the masculine by Comme des Garçons.
Junya Watanabe and, as of recently, Tao Kurihara have started their own sub-labels under the Comme des Garçons name to much acclaim. Both also were involved in designing for the casual women's knitwear line "Comme des Garçons Tricot".
Comme des Garçons have collaborated with various other labels over the years including Fred Perry, Levi's Converse All Star, Speedo, Nike, Moncler, Lacoste, Cutler and Gross, Chrome Hearts, Hammerthor, S. N. S. Herning, Louis Vuitton, Supreme, and many others. Comme des Garçons and H&M collaborated on a collection which was released in the fall of 2008.
Notably, Björk wears Comme des Garçons in her video Isobel. Other celebrities who have worn Comme des Garçons include Matt Bellamy, Alexander McQueen, Krikor Jabotian, Chloë Sevigny, Kanye West, Usher, Tilda Swinton, Herb Ritts, Tatiana Sorokko, Karl Lagerfeld, Heidi Albertsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Vincent Ng, Selma Blair, Leila Aldik, Drake, Joe Jonas, ASAP Rocky, 2 Chainz, John Waters and who devoted a chapter of his 2010 book Role Models to Comme des Garçons and Rei Kawakubo.
Comme des Garçons also produces a line of agendered fragrances, most of which are unconventional in the world of perfume, in the same spirit as the label's garments. The company released its first fragrance, Comme Des Garçons, in 1994. 1998 saw the release of Comme des Garçons's first "anti-perfume" Odeur 53, a blend of 53 non-traditional notes to create a modern and striking scent. Some of these notes are: oxygen, flash of metal, wash drying in the wind, mineral carbon, sand dunes, nail polish, cellulose, pure air of the high mountains, burnt rubber, and flaming rock.
Comme des Garçons released the perfume for the Luxe series "Champaca", for which artist Katerina Jebb produced the visual.
Signature Comme des Garçons boutiques are located in London (Dover Street Market), Paris, New York City, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, St. Petersburg, Tokyo (2x), Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka. The company also maintains concessions at select department stores, such as Isetan. In Paris, a Comme des Garçons perfumery can be found at 23 Place Marché St-Honoré.
Comme des Garçons opened the first of their 'Guerrilla' stores in 2004 in Berlin. The aim of the Guerrilla stores is to be open for only one year  and to spend a minimal amount of money on the interiors. The stores also are to be located away from fashionable hubs and districts of a city. Comme des Garçons Guerrilla stores have been opened (and subsequently closed) in Reykjavik, Warsaw, Helsinki, Singapore, Stockholm, and Athens, amongst others. In July 2007, a Guerrilla Store opened in the Achrafieh district of Beirut, Lebanon, and in February 2008, a Guerrilla Store opened in downtown Los Angeles, the first in the United States. In November 2008, they opened another Guerilla store in the west end of Glasgow.
2004 saw the opening in London of Dover Street Market (DSM), a multilevel store conceptualised by Rei Kawakubo. As well as selling Comme Des Garçons lines, other designers are invited to participate and "accorded 'creative spaces'" by Kawakubo to open a section of the store and design it in any way they wish, while often selling limited edition pieces made only for DSM.
In December 2009, Comme des Garçons opened a 4,400 square feet (410 m2) store in Hong Kong called Under The Ground. Hong Kong also has had a Guerrilla store opened and closed in previous years, run by Silly Thing Hong Kong.
In August 2010, Comme des Garçons opened a 19,000 square feet (1,800 m2), six-level flagship store in Seoul, South Korea. In addition to merchandise, the store features a branded art-exhibition space, the company's first outside Japan.
In January 2011, Club 21 opened a 3,035 square feet (282.0 m2) Comme des Garçons store in Singapore. Singapore also previously had Guerrilla stores; and in October 2010, a Pocket store was opened.
In January 2012, Comme des Garçons opened two stores in Berlin. COMME des GARÇONS Black Shop / COMME des GARÇONS Pocket Shop.
In December 2012, Comme des Garçons opened a Pocket store in Melbourne, Australia. Located in Rankins Lane, it is the first store ever in Australia.
Comme Des Garçons lines
designed by Rei Kawakubo:
- Comme des Garçons – main womenswear line (since 1973)
- Comme des Garçons Noir – black-dominated womenswear collection (since 1987)
- Comme des Garçons Comme Des Garçons – (a.k.a. 'Comme Comme') womenswear (since 1993)
- Comme des Garçons Homme Plus – main menswear line (since 1984)
- Comme des Garçons Homme Plus Sport - sporty subline of Homme Plus
- Comme des Garçons Homme Plus Evergreen – subline of Homme Plus, re-invented items from past collections (since 2005)
- Comme des Garçons Homme Deux - formal tailored menswear (since 1987)
- Comme des Garçons SHIRT – shirt-dominated collection (since 1988)
- Play Comme des Garçons – casual streetwear for younger men and women with bug-eyed heart logo (collaboration with New York graphic artist Filip Pagowski )
- Black Comme des Garçons – temporary womenswear and menswear low-priced diffusion line, sold in signature BLACK pop-up shops
designed by Junya Watanabe:
- Comme des Garçons Homme – menswear Japanese line (since 1978)
- Comme des Garçons Robe de Chambre - womenswear Japanese line (discontinued)
- Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons – womenswear (since 1992)
- Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons Man - menswear (since 2001)
- Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons Man Pink – menswear items for women (discontinued)
designed by Tao Kurihara:
- Tao Comme des Garçons – womenswear (launched 2005, discontinued after spring 2011)
- Tricot Comme des Garçons – womenwear knits
- Comme des Garçons Edited – special items for Edited shops in Japan
- Comme des Garçons Pearl – jewellery (since 2006)
- Comme des Garçons Parfum – (since 1994)
- Comme des Garçons Parfum Parfum
- Comme des Garçons Wallet
- Speedo Comme des Garçons – swimwear collaboration (since 2005)
- Hammerthor Comme des Garçons Shirt – underwear collaboration (since 2007)
- Noir Kei Ninomiya -womenswear (launched 2013) -designed by Kei Ninomiya former patternmaker at CdG
- Ganryu Comme des Garçons – asexual street style label designed by Fumito Ganryu, a former patternmaker at Junya
- Comme des Garçons Peggy Moffitt
- Comme des Garçons Six – bi-annual magazine (from 1988 to 1991)
- design collaborations with mainstream brands – e.g. J.Crew, Levi's, Lacoste, Fred Perry, The North Face, Nike, Inc., Monocle, H&M, Undercover, Visvim, Chrome Hearts, 10.Corso.Como, Kaws, Louis Vuitton, etc.
- "Company Overview of Comme Des Garcons Co., Ltd.". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- iPad iPhone Android TIME TV Populist The Page. "Time magazine: Women in fashion - Rei Kawakubo". Time.com. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "Peter Lindbergh for Comme des Garçons"[dead link]
- "COMME des GARCONS Seoul Flagship Store". Hypebeast. 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Sarah Mower (2006-03-04). "Comme des Garcons F/W 2006". style.com. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "Junya Watanabe". NYmag. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Mari Davis, Tom Massey, Boyd Davis. "Junya Watanabe". Fashion Windows. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "W: The Tao of design". Findarticles.com. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Liberty: Designer Room[dead link]
- vmagazine.com Comme des Garçons and the most avant-garde underwear around[dead link]
- "Comme des Garcons for H&M". Vogue. 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Wells, Pete (2013-09-17). "Int'l Herald Tribune: Rei Kawakubo and H & M: A collaboration to watch". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Wells, Pete (2013-09-17). "Int'l Herald Tribune: Comme des Garçons builds niche perfume empire". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- hypebeast: Comme des Garcons Perfume[dead link]
- lifestyle / 9 May 2008 / (2008-05-09). "New Comme des Garcons perfume". Wallpaper. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "Comme des Garçons". The Conveyor Belt. 2008-03-20. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "Comme Des Garcons, new signing Puig". ¡Hola!. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- Future Systems: Comme des Garcons[dead link]
- highsnobiety: Comme des Garcons Beijing flagship store[dead link]
- highsnobiety: Comme des Garcons Store 2007 Hong Kong[dead link]
- "The New York Times: The Anti-Concept Concept Store". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- By CATHY HORYNPublished: February 17, 2004 (2004-02-17). "The New York Times: A Store Made for Right Now: You Shop Until It's Dropped". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "Archimedes Pool: Guerrilla Store by Comme des Garçons". Archimedespool.wordpress.com. 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "Los Angeles Times: A hip hideaway". Articles.latimes.com. 2008-02-17. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- icon eye: Dover Street Market
- Tamsin Blanchard (2004-10-03). "The Observer: Shabby chic". Observer.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "The Spectator: Fashion dressed as art". Findarticles.com. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- hypebeast: Comme des Garcons Hong Kong[dead link]
- Expected brands at DSM[dead link]
- Jacob Bernstein (2013-12-24). "At Dover Street Market, Differences of Opinion". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Dover Street Market - Comme des Garçons London store official web site
- Comme des Garçons Company official web site
- Comme des Garçons Parfums official web site
- Comme des Garçons Saint Petersburg Store un-official blog. Lots of high-quality pictures
- Comme des Garçons women's F/W 2008 collection
- Comme des Garçons Homme Plus men's F/W 2008 collection
- Comme des Garçons Homme Deux men's S/S 2008 collection
- Junya Watanabe women's F/W 2008 collection
- Junya Watanabe Man men's F/W 2008 collection
- Tao F/W 2008 collection by Tao Kurihara
- Comme des Garçons fragrances at Basenotes
- Filip Pagowski home page
- NUMBER 3 is the former COMME des GARÇONS Guerrilla Store +30210 Athens
- The idea of COMME des GARCONS