Yohji Yamamoto

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Yōji Yamamoto (山本 耀司, Yamamoto Yōji, born 1943[1]) is a Japanese fashion designer based in Tokyo and Paris. He is among the master tailors whose work is thought to be of genius and has been described as probably the only designer you could name who has 60-year-olds who think he's incredible and 17-year-olds who think he's way cool.[2][3]. His more prestigious awards for his contributions to fashion include the Japanese Medal of Honor, the Ordre national du Mérite, the Royal Designer for Industry and the Master of Design award by Fashion Group International.[4]
Yohji Yamamoto
Born3 October 1943
Tokyo, Japan
NationalityJapanese
EducationLaw Degree - Keio University: Fashion Design - Bunka Fashion College
OccupationFashion designer
LabelsYohji Yamamoto, Y's

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[edit]Early life

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]

[edit]Designer

A wool suit by Yohji Yamamoto from 1990.
A Yohji Yamamoto evening gown from 1998, polyester.

Yamamoto became an influential fashion designer after making his Paris debut in 1981. His commercially successful main line, Yohji Yamamoto (women/men) and the diffusion line 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. 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 Sir Elton John, Placebo, Takeshi Kitano, Pina Bausch and Heiner Müller.

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.[6]

[edit]Family life

Yamamoto's daughter, Limi Feu, 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.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Yamamoto was involved in a relationship with fellow Japanese avant-garde fashion designer Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garcons fame.

[edit]Fashion fellowship

In 2008, the Yohji Yamamoto Fund for Peace (YYFP) was established in conjunction with the China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development (CFFPD).[7] to foster development of China's fashion industry and to help heal the long-standing enmity between China and Japan. 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.[8]

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."[9] 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."[10]

[edit]Career

  • 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 along side 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.

[edit]Principal lines

  • Yohji Yamamoto
  • Yohji Yamamoto POUR HOMME
  • Yohji Yamamoto COSTUME D'HOMME
  • COMING SOON by Yohji Yamamoto

[edit]Collaboration lines

  • Y-3 (Sportswear - collaboration with Adidas)
  • Y's for living
  • Y'saccs

[edit]Projects

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

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