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brandsThursday, November 18, 2021

Yohji Yamamoto: Everything You Need To Know

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If fashion is your thing, Yohji Yamamoto should be a name you’re familiar with. The Japanese designer has been consistently creating avant-garde pieces since the early 1970s, and it’s fair to say that he’s radically shifted the world’s perspective on fashion over the past 50 years. At the very least he’s inspired countless designers to use experimental fashion as a means to challenge conventions and expectations. 

 

 

How to pronounce Yohji Yamamoto 

 

Before we begin, it may prove useful to know that Yohji Yamamoto is pronounced ‘yoh’jee ya’ma’moh’toh’. Yamamoto is a common Japanese surname that translates to ‘base of the mountain’. 

 

Who is Yohji Yamamoto?

 

Born in 1943 and raised by his mother, Fumi Yamamoto, in Tokyo, Yohji Yamamoto followed in her dressmaking footsteps after abandoning his legal career path and earning a fashion design degree from Bunka Fashion College.

 

Around 1972, Yamamoto started to consider launching his own fashion line, but it wasn’t until 1977 that his dreams became reality. Initially called Y’s, his brand was offbeat, eccentric and pioneering, and the first collection was defined by its successful endeavour to translate menswear silhouettes into womenswear and merge the codes of Western and Eastern style. After being met with public and critical acclaim, he soon debuted an eponymous label that he introduced to the world: striking ready-to-wear collections were presented in Paris in 1981 and New York in 1982.

 

By the early 1980s, Yohji Yamamoto was running a highly successful business; by this point, the label was reportedly making around $15 million a year. Naturally, he decided to venture into menswear which, when debuted in Paris in 1984, shot his namesake brand further into the stratosphere. Subsequent to this collection, the prestigious awards came piling in, and fashion insiders started to treat the Japanese creative as an icon. 

 

Today, Yohji Yamamoto – now 78 years old – continues to design for his eponymous label, which has retained its dark, rebellious and eccentric nature. In addition to bringing his visions to life at his namesake brand, the designer also watches over his Y3 sportswear line created in collaboration with adidas.

 

What is Y3?

 

In 2002, Yohji Yamamoto and adidas officially announced Y3. The collaborative label melds the Three Stripes’ forward-thinking attitude to sportswear with Yohji Yamamoto’s dynamic eye for design to produce collections of versatile athleisure pieces. 

 

Initially, it was Nike that Yohji Yamamoto approached about creating a fashion-centric sportswear collection. The idea was born from the designer’s post-millennial fashion fatigue: he was bored of churning out dressy collections and was keen to try his hand at designing sneakers, joggers, hoodies and other easy-to-wear pieces. After being rejected by the Swoosh he turned to their biggest competitor, who welcomed him with open arms. 

 

Yohji Yamamoto Collaborations

 

But adidas isn’t the only brand Yohji Yamamoto has collaborated with – the designer has also lent his aesthetic to world-renowned luxury fashion houses, footwear brands and streetwear labels. Bar Y3, here are our three favorite Yohji Yamamoto collaborations: Yohji Yamamoto x New Era, Yohji Yamamoto x Dr Martens and Yohji Yamamoto x Supreme.

 

Yohji Yamamoto x New Era

 

What happens when New Era’s unfussy approach to design meets Yohji Yamamoto’s unpredictable modus operandi? A line of everyday streetwear pieces. Our favorite? It’s got to be the frill-free logo hoodie. Honestly, it’s a must. 

 

Yohji Yamamoto x Supreme

 

In 2020, Supreme assumed Yohji Yamamoto’s dark imagination to create a bold capsule collection of hype-worthy garbs. As one may expect, it’s pretty difficult to get a hold of a piece – but the Yohji Yamamoto x Supreme sweatshirt can still be copped right here at FARFETCH.

 

Yohji Yamamoto x Supreme

 

In 2020, Supreme assumed Yohji Yamamoto’s dark imagination to create a bold capsule collection of hype-worthy garbs. As one may expect, it’s pretty difficult to get a hold of a piece – but the Yohji Yamamoto x Supreme sweatshirt can still be copped right here at FARFETCH.

 

Yohji Yamamoto New-Season Wishlist Pieces

 

Yohji Yamamoto Button Up Knitted Vest

 

Yohji Yamamoto’s new-season button-up knitted vest is intrinsically ancient, and that’s precisely why we dig it.

 

Yohji Yamamoto Graphic Print Oversized T-Shirt

 

This graphic-print tee is an archetypal Yohji Yamamoto piece: it’s black, oversized and has a kick to it. 

Yohji Yamamoto Wolf Dagger Pendant

 

Sharp in both senses of the word, Yohji Yamamoto’s wolf dagger pendant is ideal for adding an unruly touch to your style.

Yohji Yamamoto Ruffled Asymmetric Midi Dress

 

The Yohji Yamamoto Ruffled Asymmetric Midi Dress is gothic, outlandish and serves serious Wednesday Addams energy. 

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