Born in 1943, Yohji Yamamoto is a Japanese designer who splits his time between Tokyo and Paris: the fashion worlds of the East and West.

A master tailor, his clothes feature avant-garde silhouettes that show off clean-cut lines and finely-tuned details. Beyond the restraint and masterful tailoring, however, there is an undeniable playfulness – the way the clothes billow or wrap around the wearer’s body in a certain way to allow new shapes to be created.

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Despite his status today, his career in the fashion industry almost did not happen.

He graduated from the prestigious Keio University in 1966 armed with a law degree – which he discarded, preferring to help his
mother, a seamstress, in her shop. This soon led him to pursue a degree in design from Bunkafukuso Gakuin, and then his first collection in 1977 in Tokyo.

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He received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of France’s most distinguished honours, in 1994.

He is known for having collaborated with a wide range of brands and personalities, from Adidas to Hermès – and even Elton John. His most widely-loved collaboration is Y-3, the popular brainchild of Yamamoto and Adidas.

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