5 Fun Facts to Know About Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garçons
What’s the first thing that pops to mind when you think of fashion label Comme des Garçons? Maybe it’s the delightful heart-with-eyes logo from its “Play” clothing line?
However, if that’s all you know about this revolutionary fashion brand, you’re missing out. A-list celebrities like Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, and Sarah Jessica Parker have been wearing this brand for years and living it up.
Here are 5 fun facts to know about the wildly successful fashion label Comme des Garçons and its elusive, highly creative founder Rei Kawakubo:
1. Japan + France
Comme des Garçons was founded in 1973 in Tokyo, Japan. However, its name was inspired by a French song by artist Francoise Hardy.
The name means “like some boys” in French, and the Comme des Garçons fashion brand has made a point to blur gender norms on the red carpet long before transgender activism and androgynous apparel became trends.
In 1981, when Comme des Garçons debuted its first fashion show in Paris, it was the first time a Japanese brand was featured for the Paris Fashion show.
2. Rei Kawakubo Never Went to Fashion School
Designer Rei Kawakubo actually started her career in advertising for a textile company in 1965 after studying the history of aesthetics at Keio University in Japan.
When she found her passion as a fashion designer, she worked her way to success as a freelance stylist. Kawakubo has revealed that her creativity can “only come out of a certain kind of unhappiness.” She says that in Japan they claim “this thing like the hungry spirit—the hungry mind—is what gets you going forward.”
3. It’s Not Fashion, It’s Art
Commes des Garçons prides itself on being “anti-fashion.” Kawakubo is known for her imaginative approach and wild silhouettes that are meant to stretch the ways we think about clothing.
In 2017, Comme des Garçons was featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in an exhibition called “Art of the In-Between.” Featuring over 150 couture creation from decades of work in fashion, it was only the second time in history that a living designer was featured for the Met Gala.
4. A Black (Crow) Controversy
The brand is known for being controversial. Starting with its first collection, which featured bizarre silhouettes and an emphasis on the color black, the brand was dubbed “black crows.”
Over the years, Kawakubo continues to challenge expectations in the fashion industry.
Kawakubo is known for being very private. She refuses to be photographed and has only given a few interviews throughout her long career. In fact, she’s been known to answer detailed questions with only a short, cutting “yes” or “no”.
One of her few interviews sparked the ELLE on Earth controversy, detailing one reporter’s tale of how the women’s magazine ruined an interview opportunity with the legendary designer.
Are you intrigued by Comme des Garçons? What’s your impression of this brand’s revolutionary approach to fashion?
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