The world of fashion has always been a creative hotbed for sartorial geniuses to inject their stylistic visions and ultimately influence the way people dress. But for every designer who can churn out garments and make a living out of their work, only a select few can truly call themselves as authentic innovators who possess the superhuman power to change the very direction of fashion beyond its commercial purposes. There was Coco Chanel with her creation of the little black dress; there was Christian Dior with his invention of the feminine New Look silhouette; there was Yves Saint Laurent who gave effortlessly chic tuxedo suiting for women; there was Alexander McQueen with his deeply subsersive yet utterly enthralling clothes that bridged art and fashion. Now, there is Rei Kawakubo and her relentlessly avant-garde aesthetic that has revolutionized high fashion forever.
To the uninitiated, Rei Kawakubo is a Japanese fashion designer, founder, and creative director of the fashion label Comme des Garçons. This is perhaps the most basic introduction that one can say for Kawakubo because beyond her profession and the business she has established, she is perhaps the world’s foremost innovator in the impenetrable realm of avant-garde fashion design. Rare is the profile of Kawakubo without mentioning her incredibly distinctive work that has transcended fashion and stepping into the very domain of conceptual and visual art. What’s even more surprising is that this vanguard Japanese creator has managed to balance her near unexplainable artistic eccentricities and the commercial side of her business to live and coexist together in perfect harmony. No other designer, living or dead, could daringly tread such a precarious line between art and commerce except for the enigmatic and fearless Kawakubo.