IN 1996, Yamamoto launched three perfumes – Essential, Homme and Yohji but less than ten years later they disappeared from the shelves leaving customers devastated. Now they are being relaunched including another fragrance – Senses.
To mark the occasion, we’ve raided the Japanese designer’s archives, showcasing some of his most ground-breaking work.
Tokyo-born designer Yohji, 69, debuted his first fashion collection in Paris in 1981.
The Yohji fashion aesthetic was – and has remained – immediately recognisable. He plays with volume and uses his expertise in drapery to challenge what is expected of design. He favours unusual fabrics such as suiting and tartan and has cultivated a long-term love affair with black.
In the power-driven 80s, he created clothes that were oversized, the silhouette artfully swamped the models. It was a completely different vision from his European contemporaries.
In the 90s, he moved onto flirting with colour. He created flowing dresses and statement headgear. In 2000 he sent models down the runway toting feather-adorned umbrellas.
Yohji formed part of a new-wave of avant-garde Japanese creatives showing in Paris, including Comme Des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo and established designer Issey Miyake.
Rei Kawakubo has described of the Japanese design revolution: “We certainly have no desire to create a fashion threesome, but each of us has a strong urge to design new, individual clothes which are recognizably ours. The common effect of this group of individuals, lumped under the label ‘Japan’, did the rest.”
Miyake added: “In the Eighties, Japanese fashion designers brought a new type of creativity; they brought something Europe didn’t have. There was a bit of a shock effect, but it probably helped the Europeans wake up to a new value.”
Fifteen years later, Yohji launched three perfumes – Essential, Homme and Yohji. But in 2005 the brand let their license expire and the range was discontinued.
Senses, which forms part of his 2013 collection, was actually created 20 years ago but never made it to market due to licensing issues.
But now award-winning perfumer Olivier Pescheux has resurrected the range which hits shelves exclusively in Selfridges this month.
Still going strong, Yohji now has three fashion lines, his main range, diffusion line Y’s and Y-3 – a collaboration with sports brand Adidas.
Take a look at some of his most memorable fashion moments, below.