During the beginning of Yohji Yamamoto’s career he proposed a new vision for fashion that existed outside of all the glitz and glamour that dominated the conversation. He pushed past the limitations of the medium, as he focused on cutting silhouettes without any regard to the shape of the body, but rather how the garment draped on the body. This way of working with proportions first became the antithesis of his contribution to the “anti-fashion” movement, and has characterized him to this date.

“Yohji is a poet. He doesn't use words, but cloth. His created is grammar with scissors. His aim is to serve the women and men who wear his clothes and to make them feel better about themselves. His commitment is radical and his compassion is unconditional.”
- Wim Wenders

He is considered a master tailor, and got his start alongside his mother at her dressmaking business. He has founded and collaborated on a variety of diffusion lines; one of the earliest of which being Y’s for Men. He used this brand as an outlet to practice less complex design tactics to produce garments that were primarily outside of his normal palette. When people talk about his clothing, the term most often used is “avant-garde.” A key aspect of this is his wish to dress women in men’s clothing, which could be considered unisex.

Despite the ways in which fashion blogs and noive historians try to type-cast Yohji Yamamoto there are layers of evidence that proves he has continually shifted his voice from collection to collection. For instance, it is widely regarded that he “only uses black,” however a general survey of his collections from the last 20 years will prove the contrary.

Written by Riley McCarthy and Henry Gossip

View our Yohji Yamamoto Collection


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