Yohji Yamamoto: " I Hate Fashion "
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New York City
Originally Posted by
I have had the priviallage and disdain of working within the Yohi Yamamoto Company. Before I started there and within my studies at university I respected and lookeed up to Yohji as a mentor for my own fashion identity. It was his clothing that always rocked me, his use of lines and concepts of shapes. He is a true master. The disdain that I felt was that of his unwillingness to modernize his image. He has for a very long time created what he creates and has never budged. Never has he revamped the image of Yohji Yamamoto. There is some respect to be given to someone who sticks to their guns but at this day and age it is the collaboration of creative and commerce that propells one into a succesful buisness. Newness is needed. Y-3 was his move into mainstream but it still did not make him! Its still Adidas and not Yohji!!! I talked with high powered people within the Yohji corporation about why this is. Why is Yohji not caring of his counterparts and their diving into a modernized world of fashion but still within their own creative world. Comme Des Garcon for instance was my example with this Yamamoto employee. I asked why is Comme running forward within fashions scope with her Guerrilla stores, Dover Street and all the collaborations that she involves herself with and Yohji not doing anything to reintroduce himself to a maybe yonger crowd, a hipper crowd or even to his loyal followers. Even the loyals need a recycling of energy to stay loyal. Yohji, i felt, needed to also produce such energy within his company. I was told not to compare the two designers because it was like comparing the 2 slowest kids in the class who sit in the back row. I should look at who is in front of the class for inspiration not the one that sits at your left or right. This comment from this high-ranking official in the Yohji camp shocked me. I felt I was comparing Yohji to a higher standard classmate, REi kawakubo! She, in my mind, is no longer in the back of the class, I said. She has driven toward the front. What is yohji doing to keep up? the topic was dropped and so was my respect for the company.
Its hard, I beleive, for a company with such roots to grow within this fast paced world of consumerisim and celebritisim. Rei kawakubo has exceled in putting herself constantly in the fore front of it all with an artistic eye and and creative vision. She has created modernity. Yohj, I feel has not done so within the lst few years Yes his clothing last decades and never will become dated always new and fresh but his image has lost its shine and needs to be polished into todays market. I still look at his clothing with a bit amazment but I feel from learning more of the company and meeting the man himself that it is a dying company. I do not expect many more years of the yamamoto label because of this unwillingness of change. He has not embraced today and is stuck in his ideals of yesterday.
It's funny, you hail Yohji as a true master and then you ask him to water down and sell his image the way Rei has done? In other words, it seems like you want to take something higher and bring it down. Why? Yohji has achieved what many commercially successful designers out there only can dream of - he will go down in the history books as one of the most innovative and important designers in the history of fashion. From what I've read, Yohji is very Zen in his mentality, very secluded and peaceful. He is around 60. Why should he subscribe to your PR view of fashion, and waste his time and energy on growing into a commerical empire?
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