Comme Des Garcons
No retrospective on Japanese fashion can take place without mentioning the Comme des Garcons. The brand was founded by Rei Kawakubo in 1969 and she was the first Japanese designer (along with Yohji Yamamoto) to exhibit at Paris Fashion Week in 1981. The non-gender specific, heavy use of black, and punk-influenced distressed and raw fabrics defied conventional fashion and shocked critics at the time. Rei got the last laugh as Comme des Garcons has gone on to become a full-fledged fashion empire with the several lines under it’s label including the accessible diffusion brand, Comme des Garcons Play, and other lines by designers mentored by Rei such as Junya Watanabe. Comme des Garcons also encompasses retail with their world-renowned Dover Street Market stores in London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Beijing, and Singapore.