Yohji Yamamoto: I’m not a rebel, I’m a crime

Yohji Yamamoto is a fashion criminal credit:Bang Showbiz
Yohji Yamamoto is a fashion criminal credit:Bang Showbiz

Yohji Yamamoto never “follows the rules” when it comes to fashion.

The Japanese designer is an innovator of avant-garde and at 79-years old continues to redefine clothes by pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules.

His dark, stoic, over-sized and distressed looks have been described as radical, effective and ground breaking.

Growing up with a widowed mother has made the Japanese designer an advocate for women who does his protesting through clothes by using fashion to shift the narrative.

He told W: “I never follow rules. I like to break them. I’m not a rebel, I’m a crime. I hate it. I want to change it, because at that moment, women and girls were treated as dolls for men. I don’t like it.”

Yohji continues to be an enigma and confound expectations of the elderly through his process and futuristic vision.

He added: “Fashion is the last chance, the last capability for how I can work and where I can come from. I’m tired. But when I finish one collection, I don’t make myself go any other way.

Yohji has always viewed women’s bodies as whimsical which make him feel like he’s “travelling in the desert” and has aimed to make clothing without the male gaze where women can feel empowered instead.

He said: “Next collection for women, I will try a 17th-century or 18th-century European concept.

“At the beginning, when I was young, I was studying a lot from tailoring, but it became so boring. I often suffer from women’s corsets. I hate them, but sometimes I start with a corset which I can move or relax for women. So in that way, I’ve twisted it.”

Enchanted by the colour black, Yohji’s first Paris collection in 1981 was inspired by an aesthetic of imperfection opposed to the confinements of formal dress.

He said: “I was walking around the city, and so many ladies and women were wearing colorful clothing.

“It bothered me and my eyes. So I just started with black. Everything started from there.”