5 Things You Should Know About Rei Kawakubo

Rei Kawakubo backstage, 1986. 

Rei Kawakubo backstage, 1986. 

5 things you should know about Rei Kawakubo via DNAMAG

On May 4th, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute will exhibit "Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between". One of the most influential fashion designers who has never faltered to over-commercialism and has always stuck to her creative vision. As the creative director of Comme des Garçons, the business has grown over $220 million a year. The thing about the brand itself is that when you own a piece from Kawakubo's Comme des Garcons collection, it is very special. The techniques mixed with simplification and imagination is why the iconic Japanese brand has been beloved since the opening of her first store in Tokyo 1973. 

Based in Tokyo and Paris, Kawakubo is also the co-founder of concept stores Dover Street Market. Her outspoken views on how she sees fashion today, in particular the decline of individuality when referencing to fast fashion, "People just want cheap fast clothes and are happy to look like everyone else." Rei Kawakubo is a design legend whose greatness most likely comes from always taking the path not taken by everyone else.


Five things to know about Rei Kawakubo: 

1983

1983

5.  The iconoclast designer is self taught. 

5 things to know about Rei Kawakubo via DNAMAG

4. Her mother was a strong role model, who left Kawakubo's father when he would not let her work. It was that kind of independence that influenced her to go out and find a career. After graduating from college in 1964, Kawakubo started working in the advertising department of a Japanese textile manufacturing company. It was there she honed a skill set for costume design. 

 

5 things you should know about Rei Kawakubo via DNAMAG

3. In the late 1970's, Kawakubo began a relationship with fellow Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. 

Rei Kawakubo backstage at SS 1985 show.

Rei Kawakubo backstage at SS 1985 show.

2. By 1981, CDG was receiving much retail acclaim and in '83 she debuted on the Paris Fashion Week runway and opened her first U.S. shop on the third floor of Henri Bendel in New York City. 

Rei Kawakubo at the 1983 opening of CDG shop in Henri Bendel, New York City. 

Rei Kawakubo at the 1983 opening of CDG shop in Henri Bendel, New York City. 

5 things you should know about Rei Kawakubo

1.  In 1988 Kawakubo launched Six, a biannual large-format magazine that displayed the brand's season collections along with her heavy aesthetic of graphic design and monochromatic interiors. A contemporary publication mostly visual images, full of art, creative ideas and fashion. The photography included works from legends in their own right, Bruce Weber and Peter Lindbergh. The final issue was printed in 1991.