Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe was born in Fukushima in 1961. His mother had a made-to-order shop, and when asked, he names her as an influence in his pursuit of a career in fashion. Watanabe studied at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo before joining Comme des Garçons as a pattern cutter in 1984. He formed his own line under the CDG label in 1992, showing his debut collection a year later.[1] Junya Watanabe’s clothes reflect the post-war explosion of the Japanese manufacturing industry and the subsequent search for a new Japanese cultural identity through engineering and design. His work features shimmering cellophane, laminated polyurethane synthetics, stainless steel-splattered polyester, and woven metals and plastics.[2] Watanabe often refers to the term “monozukuri” when discussing his work. The word is made up of “mono” (thing) and ­“zukuri” (to make or grow), and de-emphasizes the maker. This concept reflects Watanabe’s ethos of being simply a conduit for creation rather than a recognized individual or celebrity designer. He is a highly private person; Watanabe never appears for a bow at his shows' end and rarely allows interviews or discusses his personal life. Watanabe is influenced by Rei Kawakubo, and cites Issey Miyake as his early inspiration. His work is similarly experimental, less of a reflection of historical forms of construction and more of an insistence on novelty and transformation. Watanabe wants to create pieces that no one has ever seen before but using the most simple staples of our wardrobes as a starting point. He warps trench coats, biker jackets, and white shirts to make them otherworldly. His clothing still tends to be more practical than Kawakubo’s; rather than sculpting an explosion of form, he pays more attention to the constraints of the human body.

Junya Watanabe

08-15-21

Junya Watanabe was born in Fukushima in 1961. His mother had a made-to-order shop, and when asked, he names her as an influence in his pursuit of a career in fashion. Watanabe studied at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo before joining Comme des Garçons as a pattern cutter in 1984. He formed his own line under the CDG label in 1992, showing his debut collection a year later.[1] Junya Watanabe’s clothes reflect the post-war explosion of the Japanese manufacturing industry and the subsequent search for a new Japanese cultural identity through engineering and design. His work features shimmering cellophane, laminated polyurethane synthetics, stainless steel-splattered polyester, and woven metals and plastics.[2] Watanabe often refers to the term “monozukuri” when discussing his work. The word is made up of “mono” (thing) and ­“zukuri” (to make or grow), and de-emphasizes the maker. This concept reflects Watanabe’s ethos of being simply a conduit for creation rather than a recognized individual or celebrity designer. He is a highly private person; Watanabe never appears for a bow at his shows' end and rarely allows interviews or discusses his personal life. Watanabe is influenced by Rei Kawakubo, and cites Issey Miyake as his early inspiration. His work is similarly experimental, less of a reflection of historical forms of construction and more of an insistence on novelty and transformation. Watanabe wants to create pieces that no one has ever seen before but using the most simple staples of our wardrobes as a starting point. He warps trench coats, biker jackets, and white shirts to make them otherworldly. His clothing still tends to be more practical than Kawakubo’s; rather than sculpting an explosion of form, he pays more attention to the constraints of the human body.

Back to Top
Instagram