Yohji Yamamoto is a Japanese designer who is known for his expert tailoring and his avant-garde designs. The Tokyo and Paris-based designer has revolutionized womenswear through his deviation from gender binaries. He has established his signature style through dark silhouettes and asymmetric shapes. He debuted his first collection in Paris in 1981 where it is revered for its androgynous approach towards womenswear. In fact, he launched his Y’s Yohji Yamamoto line to create coats for women that nurture and protect them from the male gaze at once.
Y’s has been a great commercial success, with several flagship stores located in New York, Paris, Antwerp, and the collections are also featured in high-end department stores worldwide. He has received several accolades for his innovative designs, such as the Chevalier of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Medal of Honour with Purple Ribbon, the Ordre national du Mérite, the Royal Designer for Industry, and the Master of Design Award by Fashion Group International.
Despite his worldwide influence, he remains grounded towards his culture and continues to create. Yamamoto has expanded his empire to include other menswear lines such as Pour Homme, Costume d’Homme, and has an upcoming diffusion line. He also collaborated with other fashion houses and brands, like Adidas, Mikimoto, Placebo, and Heiner Muller in the past.
His East meets West approach has garnered him considerable attention from his native Tokyo and he has been integral to healing the strife between Chinese and Japanese culture. In 2008, he created the Yohji Yamamoto Fund for Peace and staged a runway show in Beijing to further his initiative.