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josei seven ∙ august 18 1977

josei seven ∙ august 18 1977


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yohji yamamoto featured in a designer spotlight (alongside a 34-year old rei kawakubo) following the debut runway show for y's earlier that year. rare coverage of a key phase in his career where he would find commercial success in the domestic market, setting the stage for his international debut in the early 80s. his ideas on practicality, aesthetic standards, and material sensibility are outlined in detail, hinting at a visionary perspective that would remain steadfast for decades to come.


published by shogakukan co. ltd.
softcover ∙ 18 x 25.5 cm ∙ 2 pp

Creating thoughtful designs!

A study of fashion with up and coming designers

Today, fashion is intertwined with every aspect of our lives. But not many people are keenly aware of what kind of fashion is beautiful, or what constitutes assertive fashion. Therefore, we asked seven prominent fashion designers who are currently in the spotlight to talk about various aspects of fashion.

Seven's Interview ∙ Y's Yohji Yamamoto

I want to explore clothing that suits the Japanese climate and culture. For that purpose, I'm currently focusing on Japanese cotton...

Yohji Yamamoto, born in Tokyo in 1943, now 33 years old. His clothing, full of unpretentious beauty using natural materials, is incredibly popular these days.

Yohji Yamamoto, the creator of Y's designs, enjoys the speed and the thrill of gambling. Despite his soft appearance and look of his clothing, there are aspects to him that are quite unexpected. I visited him in his peaceful studio in Azabu, just after he returned from Paris.

The features of Y's clothing and its central theme, what are they?

Yamamoto: For starters, we create workwear and everyday wear for people living in the city. It revolves around workwear related to the individual's occupation, so there are no elements of transformation into resort wear or sportswear. I believe these are the kinds of clothes that us Japanese people should be wearing the most right now. I think it's essential to subtly respond to what the times demand, rather than just making what one personally likes or satisfying one's own preferences. Always being attuned to what the era requires is crucial.

It seems there are many black and brown colors used?

Yamamoto: It's about natural colors. I naturally like brown shades, and they are colors I never tire of. As for materials, I use natural fabrics like linen and cotton in summer, and wool in winter.

Is there a specific type of woman you'd like to wear your designs?

Yamamoto: Lately, not really. Over the past 2-3 years, fashion trends have shifted towards styles associated with career women. I find it quite troublesome to be pigeonholed into such trends. The intention is to create practical and convenient clothing for people who work regular jobs, so it doesn't matter who wears them. I don't want to simply limit it to a single image like "career women".

How do you view Japanese women's fashion, especially compared to women in Paris?

Yamamoto: I've just returned from Paris, so I think I understand it well. What I particularly feel is the difference in the cultural climate. You have to consider what to wear that suits the local culture. What materials are suitable for the climate and environment? What kind of patterns suit my work and lifestyle? These are the things to think about. When it comes to comparing it with Paris, I believe it hasn't changed much. In terms of aesthetic sensibility, perhaps better than Parisian women... There are people who have made significant progress. You don't have to have fair skin and a chiseled face, right? Even with black hair and narrow eyes, it can be wonderful...

Lastly, regarding what you're most interested in right now...

Yamamoto: It's cotton. Not just standard cotton, but specifically Japanese cotton. Currently, there are no cultivation areas in Japan, but considering the climate, cotton as a material aligns well with our environment. I believe it's an excellent material that deserves attention. The fibers are short and thick, and they absorb dye very well. We're still in the experimental stage, but we've tried cultivating it in Kyushu and have made sheets and shirts from it. It's sturdy, and the texture is as good as wool, if not better.

Image: Y's Boutique located in Bell Commons Aoyama B1
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