Yohji Yamamoto is a world famous Japanese fashion designer. He currently is the lead designer and head of a fashion label of the same name and has become synonymous in Japan with the 1980s fashion movement that pushed Japan to the forefront of the industry.
Yohji Yamamoto was born in 1943 in Tokyo, Japan and first studied law before ultimately attending the Bunka Fukusou Gakuin in Tokyo. His first fashion line, Y’s, was introduced in 1972 and was first shown in Tokyo in 1977. Y’s for Men was started in 1979 and the brand quickly began to take off, with the first Paris show taking place in 1981.
In 1984, Yohji Yamamoto pour Homme was released, and in that same year, Yohji Yamamoto Inc was established. Yamamoto has continued to grow his label, launching Yohji Yahmamoto + Noir in 1995 and forming partnerships with multiple companies around the world. In 2002 he formed a business partnership with Partisan boutiques and in 2003, he opened his flagship store in Roppongi Hills as well as launched a new line, Y-3, a partnership with Adidas. Another collaboration took place in 2006 when he joined with Mandarina Duck for a special collection of luggage.
Among his many credits, Yamamoto has worked on costume design for films stars such as Takeshi Kitano, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Wim Wenders and has worked with the Pina Baush Company creating costumes for the operas, Tristan and Isolde and Bayreuth. In addition, Yamamoto has produced more than 150 shirts for Elton John, including the entire line of clothing used in John’s Red Piano show in Las Vegas. His work has won him a great deal of awards in turn.
Yamamoto’s style has always been unique and has played a major role in the progression of fashion in Japan. He works with a unique perspective that is often removed from the current trends in the industry, continually using the naturally oversized silhouettes as the basis for his lines. He uses loose drapes and glossy textures that will actively change the contours and movement of his subject. Colors are usually limited to a single shade.
During the 1980s, Yamamoto’s designs were widely recognized around the world, making him an important factor in the growth of the Japanese fashion industry alongside the likes of Rei Kawakubo and Issey Misake. They have often been called the DC brand boom, alluding to their injection of designer fashion in the Japanese market.
To date, Yamamoto’s clothes are produced and sold in more than eight separate lines and in dozens of countries around the world. His work has been widely recognized as a key aspect of the Japanese fashion movement and despite emerging trends, his approach is still respected and utilized widely today.