Style Yohji Yamamoto, the vanguardist

Yohji Yamamoto, the vanguardist

Andrea Tuzio

Yesterday Supreme presented the 4th drop of Fall/Winter 2020, the first-ever collaboration between the New York skate brand and one of the most influential contemporary designers, Yohji Yamamoto. The collection combines Yamamoto’s unique aesthetic sensibility with the background of Supreme and the works of street artist Sancheeto, graphic designer Peter Saville and artist Yuuka Asakura.

The collection will be released Thursday, September 17th on the Supreme webshop.

Yohji Yamamoto is a craftsman, an avant-garde master who has inspired and influenced entire generations in the course of his 50-year activity.

Born in Tokyo in 1943, his mother tailor had a store in Kabukicho – a very lively neighborhood in Shinjuku – and graduated in law from Keio University in Minato, Tokyo.

After graduating in 1966, he realized that the forensic career wasn’t in his stride because “he didn’t want to be part of ordinary society”, so he went to his mother and told her that he wanted to work with her and help her out in the store. 

Yamamoto’s first job at the family store was as an assistant, his mother allowed him to work with her making it clear that he would have to work hard and learn everything there was to learn. At her request, he enrolled at Bunka Fashion College, famous for training designers of the caliber of Junya Watanabe and Kenzo Takada.

He completed his studies and graduated from the Bunka where he won a scholarship to go to Paris for a year, there he began to get to know the world of ready-to-wear that was making space in response to that of high fashion. 

Back in Tokyo, Yamamoto founded his first brand, Y’s, in 1972 and gradually made his name throughout Japan. However, it was in 1977 that the Japanese designer was given the success he deserved thanks to a collection inspired by the punk movement.

Once he got what he wanted in his country, he decided to return to Paris in 1981 where he opened his first store.

Yamamoto’s work, together with that of Rei Kawakubo, has undoubtedly helped to radically change contemporary fashion thanks to an unprecedented approach. His incredible craftsmanship, decomposed and oversized shapes, dominant black, strong and durable fabrics have identified a precise aesthetic thanks to which Yohji Yamamoto has combined high fashion and streetwear, tradition and innovation.

Written by Andrea Tuzio
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