Rei Kawakubo, of Comme des Garçons, is an enigma. If she gives interviews at all, her responses can be oblique. “I can’t be naked for everybody,” she says of her impermeable protective barrier. She prefers her work to speak for itself, and speak it does, in its own language: a pastiche of implausible ideas that together become somehow inevitable.
“I never intended to start a revolution,” she says. “I only came to Paris with the intention of showing what I thought was strong and beautiful. It just so happened that my notion was different from everybody else’s.” Indeed it was. See how much you know about this legendary anti-fashionista.
Questions by Lisa Santandrea. Santandrea is a New York City–based writer who teaches fashion history at Parsons School of Design. Background image: Comme des Garçons ruffled blazer, 21st century