Vintage Icons: No. 4 Yohji Yamamoto

Humble is a word I think of whenever I see a Yohji Yamamoto interview.  Listening to the guy speak reminds me of sitting with my stoic, half-Cherokee great grandfather as he would drop a few jewels, sip on cold pop and watch Atlanta Braves baseball.  Mr. Yamamoto speaks in a very soft and methodical manner.  There are pauses between his sentences and drags of his cigarette that could cause many of the hyper active persuasion's head to explode.  All the while, he exhibits a whimsical humility about himself and his highly decorated career as a fashion designer. 

Because there are but so many garments that can be in a man's wardrobe, Mr. Yamamoto will often say that he has had very nominal influence on the climate of menswear (he actually finds the overly fashioned guy off-putting).  With that being said, Mr. Yamamoto's legacy in men's fashion and fashion in general  should not be understated.  He is credited for being one element of the three-pronged Japanese design movement that swept through Europe in the 1980's. Characterized by a rebellious favoring of deconstructed garments, subtle odes to punk and prominent use of black, his stripped down garments pushed the a Japanese aesthetic that finds beauty imperfection, but places high importance on craftsmanship.  


In the early 2000's, he gave birth to the whole "High Fashion x Athletic Brand" collaboration craze and one should point to him as one of the originators of "athleisure". His work with Adidas through his Y-3 collections are still pushing boundaries of what is considered performance wear and what should be considered fashionable.

Mr. Yamamoto exemplifies what it means to be a Funky Monsieur.  In the end, everything shouldn't be so polished.  Let there be an edge to your work, style, relationships and so on.  Respect the imperfection.