Hailing from the Land of the Rising Sun, Yohji Yamamoto is one of the world's foremost avant-garde designers. With studios in Tokyo and Paris, he is the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Japanese Medal of Honour and the Ordre National du Mérite for his contribution to fashion.
When Yamamoto's designs first hit the Paris catwalks in the early 1980s with what was dubbed his Crow Look (capacious black garments with an elegant asymmetry), he took the fashion world by storm. Described as a "nuclear bomb explosion", "emotional shock" and "revolution", it was clear that Yamamoto had made his mark on Western style culture and it wasn't long before pop icons such as David Bowie, Sting and Simon le Bon were wearing his loose-fitting suits.
Ground-breaking collection after ground-breaking collection followed and Yamamoto was commissioned to design the costumes for the operas Tristan and Isolde and Madame Butterfly and the movies Brother and Dolls. Twenty years later, Yamamoto worked with Adidas, the German sportswear giant, on the design of the new Y3 trainers range (Y represents Yamamoto and 3 represents the three strip Adidas logo). It was an overnight success that led to further collaboration and the launch of the Y-3 sports clothing collection and his appointment as creative director to the newly established Adidas Sport Style.
Yamamoto himself described Y-3 as "the first link" between fashion and sport. He also suggested that the range constituted a "marriage" between American hip-hop and French fashion. Y-3 has been with us ever since and with the first Y-3 store opening in Tokyo in 2006 and others following in major cities like Antwerp, London, Hong Kong and New York, the label has become a truly global brand. To complete the Y-3 collection, in 2008, Yamamoto introduced a children's range that now even includes a selection of Y3 trainers for babies.