Famed for his abstract silhouettes, flat shoes and unswerving loyalty to the colour black, Yohji Yamamoto is one of the most influential fashion designers working today. Yamamoto’s clothing combines intellectual rigour with breathtaking romance; in his hands, stark and often extremely challenging modernity segues with references to Parisian haute couture. Born in Japan in 1943, Yamamoto was brought up by his seamstress mother, following his father’s death in the Second World War. It was in an attempt to please his mother that he initially studied law at Tokyo’s Keio University, later switching to fashion at the Bunka school, where he graduated in 1969. Yamamoto established his own label in 1971 under the name Y’s, holding his first show in Tokyo in 1977. By the time he had made his Paris debut in 1981 with his eponymous brand Yohji Yamamoto, along with his girlfriend at the time, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, his label was already a commercial success back in Japan. Yamamoto sent out models wearing white make-up and asymmetric black clothing, and the establishment dubbed his look ‘Hiroshima Chic’. His womenswear and menswear – the latter shown in Paris for the first time in 1984 – became a status symbol for urban creative types. He now has over 223 retail outlets worldwide, a groundbreaking collaboration with Adidas (Y-3). His first major solo exhibition, was held in 2005 at the Musée de la Mode in Paris. Yamamoto is also a karate black belt and chief organiser of the Worldwide Karate Association. 2011 marked the opening of four Yohji Yamamoto exhibitions in London; the first UK retrospective at the V&A reuniting 80 pieces from womenswear and menswear for the first time, ‘Yohji’s Women’ and ‘Yohji Making Waves’ both at the Wapping Project as well as ‘Yohji Yamamoto at Work’ at the fashion space of the London College of Fashion. Also in 2011, Yamamoto received the rank of Commander in the National Order of Merit from the president of the French Republic and published his first autobiography My Dear Bomb. In 2012 Yamamoto took up the position of Jury President at the fashion and photography festival Hyères (read more here).
YOHJI YAMAMOTO talks to Terry Jones about women, anti-fashion and the sadness of his work.
YOHJI YAMAMOTO. We meet the nose behind Yohji’s new his and hers perfumes.
YOHJI YAMAMOTO. Paris, 17/01/13
First look insi-De and outsi-De Taschen and i-D’s new Yohji monograph.
Terry Jones on i-D’s new Designer Monograph series, published by Taschen.
Y-3. New York, 10/09/10
SHOTA MATSUDA features in our Just Kids Issue portfolio of young Japanese talent, photographed by Takay!
YOHJI YAMAMOTO. Paris, 28/06/12
HYÈRES. With fashion judged by Yohji Yamamoto and photography by Jason Evans, Hyères was at its best.
YOHJI YAMAMOTO. Paris, 02/03/12
Y-3. New York, 12/02/12
YOHJI YAMAMOTO. Paris, 19/01/12
Y-3. New York, 11/09/11
MAKING WAVES: Last chance to see the awe-inspiring Yamamoto installation at The Wapping Project.
Paris, 25/06/11. Yohji Yamamoto. Click image for more
Mr Yamamoto is immortalised in a documentary directed by Theodore Stanley, entitled ‘This is my Dream’.
Yohji Yamamoto is in town. The legendary Japanese designer is sending out a presence across the capital, celebrating
Paris, 04/03/11. Click image for more.
“Working with Yohji Yamamoto afforded Nick Knight, Marc Ascoli and myself the autonomous opportunity to question an
New York, 13/02/11. Click image for more.
Originally appeared in The Define Yourself Issue, Fall 2010. Lindsey Wixson wears hoodie Y-3. Photography: Emma Summ
Y-3 is celebrated for its flawless coupling of sport and fashion, creating comfortable and wearable apparel that look
i-D Consultant Fashion Director Simon Foxton shares his picks from A/W 10
Lara wears hooded dress by Yohji Yamamoto. Shoes by Comme des Garçons. Tights by Wolford. Photography: Daniel Jackso
Dress by Yohji Yamamoto. Shoes by Darkside. Photography: Mariano Vivanco Styling: Tal Brener Originally appeared in T
Waistcoat, top, trousers and gloves Yohji Yamamoto. Shoes Alexander McQueen. Photography: Wolfgang Tillmans Styling: