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[FASHION] Rei Kawakubo - Founder of Comme des Garcons

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  • madchinaman
    Designer Rei Kawakubo. http://www.infomat.com/whoswho/reikawakubo.html The Past and the Present Fashion Designer Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garcons,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2005
      Designer Rei Kawakubo.

      The Past and the Present
      Fashion Designer Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garcons, was
      born in Tokyo in 1942. Being untrained as a fashion designer, but
      having studied fine arts and literature, she conveys her ideas
      verbally to her patternmakers. After graduation Kawakubo worked in a
      textile company and began working as a freelance stylist in 1967.

      In 1973, she established her own company, Comme des Garcons Co., Ltd
      in Tokyo. Starting out with women's clothes, Kawakubo added a men's
      line in 1978. Two years later, she moved to Paris and presents her
      fashion lines there each season. At the same time she opened up her
      first boutique in Paris.

      Following her breakthrough in Paris, Comme des Garcons clothing was
      often subject of exhibitions around the world.

      Comme des Garcons specializes in anti-fashion, austere, sometimes
      deconstructed garments, sometimes lacking a sleeve or other
      component. Her garments are primarily in black, dark gray, and
      white, often worn with combat boots.

      Her designs have inspired many new designers like e.g.the Belgian
      Martin Margiela and Ann Demeulemeester, as well as Austrian designer
      Helmut Lang. The newest offspring of Kawakubo's fashion think tank
      is former apprentice Junya Watanabe, who has recently attained much
      attention in the fashion business.

      Kawakubo is a member of the Chambre Syndicale du Pret-a-Porter.


      Rei Kawakubo is the first officer and owner of Comme des Garcons
      Ltd. She is said to keep responsibility for all artistic and
      business issues in her company.

      While in the early eighties Comme des Garcons achieved sales of $30
      million in 150 Japanese shops alone. Although the recognition around
      the world was high when Kawakubo left the Japanese islands, sales of
      exports still contribute only 10% to total sales. Total sales by
      1990 were at $100 million. Comme des Garcons clothing output is said
      to outnumber the combined effort of Japanese competitors Yamamoto
      and Miyake by far.

      By the late 80s Comme des Garcons operated more than 300 stores
      worldwide. A fourth of these stores were located outside of Japan.
      There, only a small part of the Kawakubo lines are available. Homme,
      Homme Deux, Tricot, and Robe de Chambre are lines which are
      predominately created for the Japanese market. Different range
      segments are shipped overseas, as well as different sizes. But also
      the prices vary around a third from these demanded in Japan. The
      unique design of Comme des Garcons stores puts Kawakubo's clothes
      emphatically into scene by avoiding all distracting elements. She
      ensures a similar appearence in all outlets by working together with
      Japanese architect Takao Kawasaki for years.

      Production/ Licenses
      After successfully entering the markets outside of Japan, Kawakubo
      also started to manufacture abroad. Production is concentrated in
      France avoiding trade barriers for Japanes products and the
      volatility of the Yen in order to maintain competitiveness with
      European designers. Kawakubo resisted the temptation of licensing
      products other than fashion for a long time. Only the Italian
      furniture manufacturer Pallucco produces furniture in her name for
      some years now.

      COMME des GARcONS LDT.
      5-11-5 Minamiaoyama
      Minato-ku, Tokyo 107, Japan
      Tel.: (+03) 3407-2480
      FAX.: (+03) 5485-2439

      Selected Boutiques
      Paris Boutiques
      * 16, place Vend™me,
      75001 Paris, France
      * 42, rue Etienne Marcel
      75002 Paris, France
      Tel.: (+1)
      London Boutique
      59 Brook Street
      London W1, Great Britain
      Tel.: (+44) 0171/493 1258 New York Boutique
      116 Wooster Street
      New York, N.Y., U.S.A.
      Tel.: (+212) 219-0660 Toyko Boutique
      5-2-1 Minamiaoyama
      Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
      Tel.: (+03) 406-3951


      Kawakubo Rei

      Date of Birth 1954
      Place of Birth Tokyo

      Rei Kawakubo is a top Japanese designer. Rei Kawakubo and Youji
      Yamamoto are respected by new age designers. For example,
      Mr.Alexander Maqueen who is top new age designer in U.K. respects
      her. And they are familiar to the world.

      Once she worked as stylist, and she began to make clothes. The
      clothes made by her are called "Comme des Garcons". "Comme des
      Garcons" means "Like as child". Her clothes are very unique and
      attract many people. And they are popular with young and middle age

      She has succeeded not only as in top designer but also in business.
      She runs a big company which has many sections, for example, "Comme
      des Garcons", "robe de chamble", "tricot Comme des Garcons", "Comme
      des Garcons Comme des Garcons", "Comme des Garcons homme", "Comme
      des Garcons homme plus","Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons",and"Comme
      des Garcons Man". And her company spread to Europe. By the way,
      Junya Watanabe who once was her assistant is now her companies main
      designer at "tricot Comme des Garcons", "Junya Watanabe Comme des
      Garcons""Comme des Garcons Man".

      She shows people her collection in Paris. And every time, we are
      surprised and this has us buy her clothese. So fashion journalists
      in Europe admire of her collection and herself.



      Rei Kawakubo is among the most respected and unconventional
      designers in contemporary fashion. As the driving force behind
      Commes des Garcons, she has continually challenged current ideals of
      body shape, garment construction and use of colour.

      Refusing to conform to conventional notions of beauty, Kawakubo
      creates her own statements through radical silhouette and structure.
      In doing so, she is credited with revolutionising fashion.

      Born in Tokyo in 1942, she studied literature before working as a
      stylist, but was never formally trained in fashion design
      or 'clothes making' as she prefers to call it. Commes des Garcons
      was founded in 1969 as a way to supplement her income (and a men's
      line was added in 1978), but it wasn't until 1981 that she sprang to
      fame with her first Paris presentation.

      A shock to the West at that time, Kawakubo's approach directly
      challenged the era's fixation with a commercially-conceived
      expression of glamour. The 1981 collection was dubbed 'Hiroshima
      chic' for its domination of black. Her output is frequently
      described as 'anti-fashion' or 'art', owing to Kawakubo's conceptual
      and intellectual rigour, but this cerebral methodology hasn't
      stopped her building one of the biggest independent fashion empires
      where she not only enjoys complete artistic freedom, but also
      significant financial success.

      Kawakubo's designs continue to inspire younger generations of
      designers including Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang and Ann
      Demeulemeester, while former apprentice Junya Wanatabe's stellar
      practice burgeons from within the Comme des Garcons domain.
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