Yohji Yamamoto was born in Tokyo, Japan on October 3, 1943. He originally attended Keio University, and graduated with a law degree. In 1966, he switched gears and headed towards the world of fashion by attending Bunka Fashion College. The main reason why
he changed career paths was because his mother needed help with her dress store. He started out by making clothing for his mothers’ friends in the 1960’s.He worked as a freelance designer, and then opened his company in 1972. In the early 1970’s Yamamoto made his first clothing line, Y’s for women, and Y’s for men was created in 1979. He created his second collection, simply named Yohji Yamamoto in 1981 and three years later made his Pour Homme line. In the 1990’s he presented his signature perfumes for men and women. In 2003, he presented his ready to wear collection in New York Fashion week which was very successful. Adidas and Yamamoto joined in a collaboration to make shoes and sportswear.
Yamamoto works out of Japan with his designs touching every part of the world. His fashions touch in Haute Courture, but are mainly anchored in ready-to-wear. Some prices and styles of his clothing can be seen below:
Mid length dress, $695.00
Button up blouse, $318.00
Casual trousers, $695.00
Yohji women’s’ perfume, $300.00
Yohji Yamamoto’s clothing could be described as loose, unstructured, voluminous, and a consistent choice of black colors for his fabrics. He uses any fabrics from knits, cotton, linen, silk, wool, alpaca, viscose, leather and lace. His styles could be classified as both classic and trendy. His line for women and men, the Y’s, are considered classic as this line is made up of suits, dresses, button up shirts, trousers, and blazers. His clothing can also be trendy, such as the clothing in his Autumn/Winter collection. He features many long trench coats in bright colors like red, fuchsia, and blue, which moved the basic trench to a fun, bright fashion necessity. Some distinctive qualities of Yamamoto’s clothing are that they are unstructured, layered, lopsided collars, dark, bright, long and flowing, strange, but also elegant, and beautiful moving pieces of artwork. It sometimes is referred to as “anti-fashion.”
Yamamoto not only designs clothing. He designs perfumes, shoes, handbags, and a few handbags. In 2002, Yamamoto and Adidas got together and created Y-3, Yamamoto’s sports line. It’s made up of jackets, sport shoes, baseball caps, messenger bags, and backpacks. He introduced his perfumes and cologne in the 90’s. His first fragrance was for a woman was released in 1996. Followed by that was cologne for men released in 1999. Also released that year was another fragrance for women called Essential.
What makes Yamamoto so successful is his originality, grace, and braveness to try something new. He creates pieces of clothing that might look a little strange at first, but when you take a closer look and take it in, you see that it is actually more like a work of art. The frumpy, baggy pants become a vessel to carry the long train of the shirt as its sail.
Yamamoto is also a black belt in karate, and the head organizer of the World Wide Karate association. He has also been featured in a number of films exhibitions, and books. In his spare time, he plays the guitar in his own band, and drinks whisky. He owns 333 stores worldwide. He is known as the rebel of fashion.