Yohji Yamamoto is a Japanese clothing designer whose designs often blur the distinction between fashion and sculpture. He uses a simple palette – black, navy and white – with an occasional splash of color and a style that is at once chic and simple. His collections are consistently far removed from current trends and more often than not a single color (particularly black).
His basic design elements are asymmetry, gathers, de- and reconstruction, visible seams and glossy textures that naturally flow with the wearer’s curves and movement. Yamamoto has been designing women’s clothing since 1970 and set up his own company, Y’s, in 1972.
He received worldwide recognition after debuting his Spring/Summer collection in Paris in 1983. Yamamoto is the only Japanese fashion designer to have been awarded the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres. He was also awarded the Mainichi Fashion Grand Prize in 1986.
Today, his company earns more than a hundred million dollars a year and he creates, apart from his Y’s line of clothing for both men and women, opera costumes, ballet sets for some of the most important companies in the world, and Y-3, the designer’s collaboration with Adidas, which includes sneakers, polos, gym wear and bathing suits.