Kansai Yamamoto (山本寛斎?, born February 8, 1944) is one of the leaders in Japanese Contemporary fashion, in particular during the 1970s and 1980s.
Among the designers with whom he apprenticed are Junko Koshino and Hisashi Hosono; in 1971, he opened his own company, Yamamoto Kansai Company, Ltd., Tokyo. His first collection debuted in London in 1971 and in the USA at Hess's Department Store in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which was renowned for many avant-garde collections. His 1975 debut in Paris was followed by the opening of his Kansai Boutique in 1977.
In 1999, he and Junko Koshino renewed the kimono, reviving interest in this classical fashion. He is also known for his avant-garde kimono designs, including ones worn by David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust Tour.
In 1999 he organized a fashion program under the aegis of the India-Japan Mixed Cultural Cooperation Committee.
Since 2001, he has been known for his fashion eyewear, sold by Aoyama USA.
He is a recipient of the Soen prize at the Bunka College of Fashion (1967) and the Tokyo Fashion Editors award in 1977.
In 2008, an exhibit named "Netsuki Shinten: Kansai Genki Shugi" (or "Passionate Exhibit: The Energy Principle of Kansai") was held at the Edo-Tokyo Museum of Art. In 2009, a major retrospective of Yamamoto's work was exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Yamamoto designed the Skyliner train, unveiled in 2010, that connects Japan's Narita Airport with central Tokyo.
In July 2013, he making come back in to the fashion industry with a perform in the 19th New Britain Mask Festival in Kokopo, Papua New Guinea.
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