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August 31 2014

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37 posts tagged "Rei Kawakubo"

There’s Nothing Generic About the New Generic Man x Comme des Garçons Sneaker Collaboration

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gm-cdg1Collaborations are a dime a dozen these days, especially in the sneaker world. They come and go and are rarely remembered, so when one sticks around longer than a single season, it’s definitely worth noting.

The Generic Man and Comme des Garçons have been at it for eight seasons now, combining the footwear brand’s luxe take on minimal styles with Rei Kawakubo’s singular aesthetic vision. “She has all the say,” says Generic Man founder and creative director Brandon Day, who also has ongoing collaborations with Public School and Mark McNairy. “She does all the designing, and what she comes up with—there’s a reason for it—makes sense for her in the collections. It’s crazy, it always works, and I think that’s why she’s so respected and has the success she’s had.”

This season Kawakubo selected The Champion style from The Generic Man lineup for two black leather styles, each with hand-poured black, gray, green, and white marbled soles, with no two alike.

The Generic Man for Comme des Garçons Shirt Fall 2014 sneakers, $345, available now at End Clothing.

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Dover Street Market Dives Into Social Media, Comme Opts to Stay at 0 Followers

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dover-street-instaLena Dunham and Jack Antonoff, Gary Janetti and Brad Goreski, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen—those are some of social media’s newly crowned “power couples,” according to a NYT story out today. The writers, musicians, and models all made the list for their strategic—and very successful—use of social media platforms (Instagram and Twitter) to promote their partners’ projects, be it a new book or movie deal or clothing line release. Designers and fashion brands weren’t included as a part of the list, although we can think of several pairings that would have been an excellent fit.

The pioneering retail outpost Dover Street Market and its parent company, Comme des Garçons by Rei Kawakubo, however, don’t come to mind. They have remained staunch holdouts of the Internet age and completely inactive on social media—until now. Dover Street Market, in celebration of its 10th anniversary, has just announced it’s diving into social media, starting with an Instagram account (@doverstreetmarketlondon) that will officially kick off tomorrow. (We took a quick look—they already have more than 400 followers.) But the company won’t be leveraging its two brands on social to propel their successes—Comme reportedly has no plans to launch social media accounts.

“It’s the same reason why there is no Comme des Garçons website—it’s just images and information. [Rei Kawakubo] has enough to do. She makes the clothes. Dover Street is a different animal. It comes from the same mother, the same birth, but it’s a different thing—maybe getting more different,” Adrian Joffe, a partner of Kawakubo and president of the Paris-based Comme des Garçons International, told Business of Fashion.

Instead, the company’s social media “strategy” going forward is to differentiate the two. “As [Dover Street Market] grows, who knows where the future takes us? Maybe suddenly it will get so big and different, it’ll become actually separated,” said Joffe.

Run by AnOther magazine’s Web editor Laura Bradley, the Dover account will be full of “abstract messaging,” featuring chapters and stories instead of more classic retail store Instagram posts. “We want to use Instagram as a magazine,” said Joffe. Thank God—our feed has enough selfies and sunsets these days anyways.

Photo: Courtesy of @doverstreetmarketlondon

Of Clothes and Cats: Adrian Joffe and Simone Rocha Have a Heartfelt Chat in Love‘s Latest Issue

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Christy Love Cover

Simone Rocha may not have taken home the LVMH Prize, but the 27-year-old designer is in greater demand than ever. This month she’s poised (like Christopher Kane before her) to launch a collaboration with J Brand, and in Love‘s latest issue, she sits down with Comme des Garçons International president (and husband to designer Rei Kawakubo) Adrian Joffe. Joffe has been a staunch supporter since Rocha debuted her first collection with Fashion East back in 2010, and he also happens to have known the designer since she was a child. In the Q&A, moderated by Love editor Jack Sunnucks, Rocha and Joffe talk cultural identity, her “abysmal” academic performance, and the six dearly departed Joffe-Kawakubo cats. Also of note? The possibility that a Simone Rocha scent may just be hitting Dover Street Market shelves in the future.

An exclusive excerpt as well as a Patrick Demarchelier-lensed, Katie Grand-styled portrait of Rocha (sporting her own design) debuts below. To read the full interview, pick up Love Issue 12, as covered by Christy Turlington (shot by Inez & Vinoodh, and pictured above), Adriana Lima, Kendall Jenner, and Amy Adams. It hits newsstands July 28.

When Love joins Simone Rocha and Adrian Joffe, the pair are debating the very important topic of pets: Adrian has just revealed that he and his wife, Rei Kawakubo, used to have six cats at home in Japan.

Simone RochaAdrian Joffe: We liked cats, but there’s none left—they’re all gone. So nothing at the moment. But with traveling and everything it’s sad to leave animals alone, isn’t it?

Simone Rocha: That’s exactly what happened to me. We ended up moving around so much. They really need company.

AJ: Being half Chinese, half Irish—does that influence your work, do you think? Do you feel Chinese or Irish? Or does it not matter?

SR: I think it does matter. They’re so different. But one thing that is very important in both Irish culture and Chinese culture is family. So both my mum and dad have really big families and really important relationships with all their family. I love being Irish and not looking Irish, and I love going to Hong Kong and knowing that my granny lives there and my aunts and uncles, and I can go out and they’ll all speak Cantonese and play mah-jongg.

AJ: I’m guessing, though, that you don’t like to be referred to as Simone Rocha, the half-Chinese, half-Irish designer. That limits you, doesn’t it?

SR: I’d rather just be a designer. But I am very proud. I don’t mind being called an Irish designer, because a lot of people call me a British designer. I can feel the whole Ireland kicking off when that happens!

AJ: Do you remember your first memory of liking fashion? Was there one thing that set your love of fashion in motion?

SR: It actually just felt totally natural being around fashion, being around clothes. I absolutely love the smell of plastic bags—you know, when everything’s being hung up and shipped out.

I decided to do fine art originally, because I thought fashion would be a cliché. But after a year in college I’d done sculpture, ceramics, print—and then the very last discipline was fashion. And then I was like, Oh no, this is it—this is how I can translate my creativity.

I was actually a terrible student. I was abysmal in my B.A. None of my teachers thought I cared. And I didn’t. But I was still producing work, and there was obviously something in it!

AJ: You were having fun, I hope!

SR: That was the problem! I was having far too much fun—far too interested in socializing. But then I got in on the M.A., and around two weeks into it… Well, I’d never cared so much about something in my whole life.

AJ: So now you’ve done three shops with Dover Street. Can we do your perfume, too?

SR: That would be fabulous! I’d love that. I already know what it will smell like. Something real, but something really special.

Photos: Inez & Vinoodh (cover); Patrick Demarchelier (Simone Rocha)

Lynn Yaeger and Yoox.com’s Rare Discovery Is a Vintage Addict’s Kryptonite

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Comme des Garcons

If, like me, you are a Japanese design devotee, get ready to empty your savings account. Lynn Yaeger, acclaimed fashion journalist, New York eccentric, and aggressive wearer of Comme des Garçons, was recently appointed as the curator of vintage clothing at Yoox.com. The release of her first shoppable selection happened to coincide with Yoox’s 10th anniversary of launching in Japan. And what better way to celebrate than with a range of hard-to-find items designed by Japanese fashion demigods like Issey Miyake, Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, Kansai Yamamoto, Kenzo Takada, Yohji Yamamoto, and Junya Watanabe? “These clothes are revolutionary in their conception and execution,” Yaeger told The Independent of the collection, which she’s titled “Mezurashi Hakken,” or “Rare Discovery” in English. “They are beyond season, they never date. Clothes that look a little strange on the hanger can be wonderful on the body. For this collection, each piece had to be a unique, interesting example of each designer’s contribution, and they have to be wearable,” added Yaeger, who reportedly scoured the world to hunt down these pivotal pieces. Judging by the number of garments that are heartbreakingly marked SOLD, it would seem that Yaeger’s debut Yoox effort is going pretty well. With that in mind, I advise you to shop quickly—these vintage treasures won’t last.

Photo: Via Yoox.com

Emerging Talents Give Dover Street Market New York a New Beginning

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DSM

On Saturday, after a two-day closure, Dover Street Market New York, Rei Kawakubo’s seven-floor multibrand fashion wonderland open since last December, celebrated its inaugural “new beginning,” with just-arrived Fall ’14 merchandise and fresh shop-in-shops. Melitta Baumeister, whose career was catapulted when Rihanna wore her oversize black biker jacket in Paris back in March, and Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver are two new additions to the store’s fourth-floor DSM Showroom, which is devoted to emerging designers. They join a roster that includes Craig Green, Jacquemus, Phoebe English, KTZ, 1205, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Proper Gang, Shaun Samson, and Sibling. We checked in with the new recruits and a quartet of the floor’s returning talents to talk about Kawakubo’s lasting influence, their new installations, and the “beautiful chaos” that is DSM.

Melitta

MELITTA BAUMEISTER
“The Comme des Garçons campaign collaboration with Cindy Sherman in 1994 stopped me in my tracks. I remember being completely blown away,” Baumeister recalls. “So I’m very happy to be with a group of creators [now] that have a mutual understanding on fashion, to be part of a showroom that believes in the importance of creating new experiences of how fashion can be consumed, in a world of beautiful chaos. To be in an environment where the brand is understood will no doubt give [me] the confidence to go further with bigger dreams.”

HOOD BY AIR (SHAYNE OLIVER)
“Going to the Comme des Garçons flagship for the first time here in New York changed my life, and molded my thought process on creating a fashion brand that is meant for you, and only you,” Oliver remembers. “The shopping experience at Dover Street Market is [likewise] unique and special. I think it really works well with the HBA concept and vibe. We want to make people feel immersed in our world, in the whole experience of the brand. [Our shop-in-shop] is a conversation with our customers outside of the traditional realm of fashion.”

Craig Green

CRAIG GREEN
“All the Dover Street Market stores have a totally stand-alone and unique way of working. The amazing and forever-changing interiors make for a dynamic and exciting space and experience,” Green says. “The main idea behind our new Fall ’14 space was to put the highly detailed, hand-painted pieces against the raw quality of untreated wooden structures. We used large hand-painted fabric rugs as hangings to demonstrate what the garments themselves have been cut from.

Phoebe

PHOEBE ENGLISH
“DSMNY is different to other stores as it’s not really just a store, it’s a destination and an environmental experience, which heightens, celebrates, and elevates the incredible stock they hold,” English says. “In many ways it’s also a mecca for young creatives justifying and contextualizing the work they’re making; [that's what] the London store was for me when I was studying at Central Saint Martins. We wanted this space to [feel] unexpected, sort of like a surprise or a bit of drama injected into a retail environment. The raw naturalism of the collapsed cliff face against the clothes hanging on the suspended rails—something beautiful and refined in a broken space. I [also] wanted it to represent the dialogue of material, which informs each collection. I worked with art director Philip Cooper. It was about balancing the ethos of how I work creatively with the reality of shopping.”

Lee RoachLEE ROACH

“The opportunity to completely change the space seasonally allows us to truly represent the season’s ideas and concepts,” Roach says. “Our Fall ’14 space remains minimal with the introduction of new square metal fixtures. We’ve introduced stand-alone, industrial two-arm rails to highlight the collection’s fabrication and construction, which remain fundamental. I would like people to touch and try on the clothes.”

SIBLING (SID BRYAN, JOE BATES, COZETTE MCCREERY)

“DSMNY feels like being in an interactive art space but without any of the pretense,” the Sibling trio says. “It’s been fantastic to see how artists and creatives interpret the Sibling vision each time. We loved collaborating with Uncommon Projects [on the leopard shelving and screen unit], Richard Woods [using the catwalk recolored version of his iconic wood print as wallpaper], and now with artist James Davison. We saw James’ work recently via the journalist Charlie Porter. He’d uploaded a video of James’ window display with moving parts and amazing color. It also felt like he’d had fun doing it. All of which is very much what Sibling is about, so we didn’t think twice about working with him and sent him catwalk pictures and a very relaxed brief. Relaxed because we always like collaborative works to come more from the artist.”

Photos: Courtesy Photos