Comme des Garçons, which roughly translates to “like ay,” was established in 1966 by Rei Kawakubo, one of the most famous designers to emerge from Japan. Kawakubo’s stark, architectural pants, jackets and button-front shirts are staples for fashion’s elite.
In 1975, Kawakubo participated in the Tokyo Collection and in 1981 her label debuted in the Pret a Porte Paris Collection. The Garcons style, which did not fit in any of the fashion world stereotypes at the time, has had a significant influence in the industry over the years.
Comme des Garçons mainly shows in Paris and the label has grown to include women’s ready-to-wear, homme plus, homme deux, furniture and fragrances. Recently Comme des Garçons has made news with its 5,000-square-foot boutique opening in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. The design concept alone has made it a destination for shoppers. Outside the walls are graffiti-filled brick and an old faded sign for auto repairs that reads ”Heavenly Body Works.” Upon closer inspection there is an aluminum tunnel, made in a shipyard in Cornwall, England, that has been hammered into textures that refract the light. Inside, textures vary greatly from the all-white walls to the stainless-steel perfume bar.