Yohji Yamamoto

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Yōji Yamamoto (山本 耀司, Yamamoto Yōji, born 1943[1]) is an award winning and influential Japanese fashion designer based in Tokyo and Paris. He is considered to be a master tailor,[2] alongside those such as Madeleine Vionnet and is known for his avant-garde tailoring featuring Japanese design aesthetics.

His more prestigious awards for his contributions to fashion include Commandeur of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,[3] Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon, the Ordre national du Mérite, the Royal Designer for Industry and the Master of Design award by Fashion Group International.[4]

Yohji Yamamoto
Born (1943-10-03) 3 October 1943 (age 70)
Tokyo, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Education Law Degree - Keio University: Fashion Design - Bunka Fashion College
Occupation Fashion designer
Labels Yohji Yamamoto, Y's, Y-3

Early life[edit]

Born in Tokyo, Yamamoto graduated from Keio University with a degree in law in 1966. His further studies in fashion design at Bunka Fashion College led to a degree in 1969.[5]

Designer[edit]

Yamamoto debuted in Paris in 1981. In an interview with the New York Times in 1983, Yamamoto said of his designs, "'I think that my men's clothes look as good on women as my women's clothing […] When I started designing, I wanted to make men's clothes for women."[6] More recently he has expounded: “When I started making clothes for my line Y’s in 1977, all I wanted was for women to wear men’s clothes. I jumped on the idea of designing coats for women. It meant something to me – the idea of a coat guarding and hiding a woman’s body. I wanted to protect the woman’s body from something – maybe from men’s eyes or a cold wind.”[7]

His commercially successful main line, Yohji Yamamoto (women/men) and Y's, are especially popular in Tokyo. These two lines are also available at his flagship stores in New York, Paris, and Antwerp, and at high-end department stores worldwide. Other principal lines include Pour Homme, Costume d'Homme, and the diffusion line Coming Soon. Yohji Yamamoto Inc. reported in 2007 that the sales of Yamamoto's two main lines average above $100 million annually.

Yamamoto is known for an avant-garde spirit in his clothing, frequently creating designs far removed from current trends. His signature oversized silhouettes in black often feature drapery in varying textures.

Yamamoto's work has also become familiar to consumers through his collaborations with other fashion brands, including Adidas (Y-3), Hermès, Mikimoto and Mandarina Duck; and with artists of different genres, such as Tina Turner, Sir Elton John, Placebo, Takeshi Kitano, Pina Bausch and Heiner Müller.

Yohji Yamamoto was invited to curate the second issue of A MAGAZINE curated by in 2005, following Martin Margiela.

Poor decisions by finance managers pushed the brand into debts of more than 65 million US dollars in 2009, which angered Yamamoto and led to a company restructuring from 2009 to 2010. The private equity firm Integral Corp was identified as the Japanese company who will restructure the Yohji Yamamoto Inc and by November 2010 the company was out of debt and avoiding the risk of bankruptcy.[8]

Family life[edit]

Yamamoto's daughter, Limi Yamamoto, has followed in his footsteps. She debuted as a fashion designer at the Tokyo Fashion Week in 2000, showed in Tokyo from 2000 to 2007, and debuted to critical acclaim in Paris in 2007. Its brand name is LIMI feu.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Yamamoto was involved in a relationship with fellow Japanese avant-garde fashion designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons fame.[citation needed]

Fashion advocacy[edit]

In 2008, the Yohji Yamamoto Fund for Peace was established to foster development of China's fashion industry and to help heal the long-standing enmity between China and Japan.[9] Each year, an emerging Chinese designer will be awarded with a two-year scholarship to a fashion college in Japan or Europe, and a male or female Chinese fashion model will be selected to make a runway debut during the Paris prêt-à-porter season.[10]

Yamamoto has been quoted as saying: "they must have so many angry young people. Being a fashion designer or an artist, you have to be angry."[11] Of the fashion show he staged in Beijing in spring 2008 to launch this initiative, Yamamoto said, "It's not political. I am going to open a store here, then Chinese people will come and shop there, and then they are happy. The real art is making people happy, but also asking questions about society."[12]

Career[edit]

  • 1972 Y's joint stock corporation founded.
  • 1977 Tokyo collection debut.
  • 1981 Pret a porter collection debut in Paris. Yohji Yamamoto line started at the same time.
  • 1984 Yohji Yamamoto joint stock corporation founded.
  • 1996 Designed alongside Red or Dead founders Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway MBE
  • 1995 Designs costumes for the Heiner Müller-directed/Daniel Barenboim-conducted production of Wagner's complex opera, Tristan & Isolde.
  • 2002 Haute couture collection presented in Paris. Relationship formed with exclusive Parisian boutiques.
  • 2003 Opening of the Y's line flagship store in Roppongi Hills.
  • 2003 Y-3 line and collection debut.
  • 2003 Designs costumes for Elton John's The Red Piano show in Las Vegas.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peter Yeoh (2011). "Contrarian Couturier". Glass Magazine (5). ISSN 2041-6318. 
  2. ^ "Yohji Yamamoto Fashion Shows: Designer Directory on Style.com". style.com. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  3. ^ "Yohji Yamamoto - Voguepedia". vogue.com. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  4. ^ "Radical Elegance – Yohji Yamamoto Garments in Australian Collections". 18 October 2007. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  5. ^ "Yoji Yamamoto," Womens Wear Daily (New York).
  6. ^ YOHJI YAMAMOTO DEFINES HIS FASHION FASHION PHILOSOPHY; New York Times October 23, 1983
  7. ^ Yohji Yamamoto: “People have started wasting fashion”; The Talks
  8. ^ "'My anger': Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto opens up about losing his father and his rage at fashion's frivolities". The Independent (London). 21 November 2010. 
  9. ^ Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries: "Y’s Fashion Show and Auction for Yohji Yamamoto Fund for Peace Held in Beijing."
  10. ^ Alexander, Hilary. "Yohji Yamamoto: Historic Fashion Initiative," The Telegraph (London). 23 February 2008.
  11. ^ "Yamamoto's Peace Project," Vogue (London). 28 April 2008.
  12. ^ Long, Carola. "Yohji Yamamoto: The designer stages his first show in Beijing," The Independent (London). 23 June 2008.

External links[edit]