Rei Kawakubo (1942) was born in Tokyo and is one of modern fashions leading designers noted for her creative approach individuality. She is also the creator and owner of the fashion label Comme des Garcons.
Untrained in fashion, Rei studied fine art and literature, an intellectual background that reflects itself in her work as highly conceptually charged and individualistic.
A term that has become associated with her work is ‘anti-fashion’ which is not suprising given she dictates designs from sketches and ideas rather than constructs them herself.
Rei started Comme des Garcons in 1973, french for ‘like the boys’, which has enjoyed a rare combination of both critical acclaim and financial success. Her style is considered a deconstruction of fashion, which features ragged textures, irregular forms, heavy monochromatic tones only recently embracing colour.
Often her designs contrast the form and line of the body rather than the traditional approach of complement and emphasis. When her early collections debuted in Paris during the late eighties they earnt themselves the negative connotation ‘Hiroshima chic’.
She pays significant attention to store layout, graphic design and advertising as well as garment design believing all aspects of the business to be intimately linked rather than separate.