Disappeared at the age of only 54 in March 2020, Katsuya Kamo was a mad and delicate genius, a balancer of the extreme and a devotee of fleeting, ephemeral beauty. Kamo was a Japanese milliner, hairstylist, makeup artist, and artist, but none of these definitions really give an idea of the artistic caliber and who Katsuya Kamo really was.
Katsuya Kamo was born in Fukuoka in 1965, in what was then still rural post-World War II Japan, and began his interest in the world of fashion, design, and hairstyling at a very young age.
He then began his training as a hairstylist by working alongside a local hairdresser before moving to Paris, where he became assistant to Japanese stylist Tetsuya Tamura, thus giving vent to his love of fashion-his initial inspirations were Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto to understand-which would later lead him to work with the most important stylists and fashion houses globally.
In 1996, he decided to return home, to Japan, to Tokyo to be exact, where he began his collaborations with Junya Watanabe and Jun Takahashi, developing personal and working relationships with the two cult Japanese designers and curating hairstyling for Comme des Garçons and Undercover.
In his career as a hairstylist – thanks to his unique and inimitable approach, fervent imagination, incredible technical ability and desire for extreme experimentation in all aspects (shapes, colors, materials, etc.) – he will work with the biggest names in international fashion. He will curate hairstyles and headpieces for the fashion shows of Fendi, Chanel, Haider Ackermann and Maison Martin Margiela.
In an interview with Vogue, Ackermann spoke this way about Kamo: “No conversation was needed, no words. Silently we would work harmoniously and I would observe where his artistic sensibility would bring me, a perfect balanced world of grace and insanity. The best play companion one could dream”.
Katsuya Kamo was everything and the opposite of everything. He kept the punk spirit alive and at the same time his work was an expression of delicacy, flair, imagination and transient beauty. His creations in fact “existed” the time of a runway, but of one thing one can be sure, Kamo’s work is destined to remain forever.