In Re(i) Kawakubo*


Say avant-garde clothing design and Rei Kawakubo will likely be at the top of your list of associated designers. The Japanese woman behind the thought-provoking, sometimes hard to understand clothing line Comme des Garons has been toiling away at her craft, sending shockwaves throughout the industry since 1969, and making news with her designs like a jacket with a third arm, or by introducing us to former apprentices like Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara.

Recently, Rei made headlines by announcing unique collaborations. Like Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, Kawakubo collaborated with legendary leather goods brand Louis Vuitton to create six limited edition handbags. Rather than revolutionize the color scheme as Murakami did (with his rainbow of logos on white, launching a thousand counterfeits), Kawakubo instead is playing with form. One simple, vintage LV model, the Papillon, gets three additional sets of handles, while others are re-editions, or customized classics; and two are Kawakubo originals.

Kawakubo, whose edgy clothes are not appreciated on a massive commercial scale since they are often considered too weird (Kawakubo herself once said if a design sells too well, she fears she didnt push the envelope enough), has teamed up with one of the worlds biggest people pleasers: Swedish mass market giant H&M.

The Comme des Garons for H&M line will debut in Tokyo on November 8th, and then go on sale in approximately 200 stores worldwide on November 13th. In the U.S., the stores carrying the line are:

New York Locations:
435 7th Avenue at 34th Street
1328 Broadway at 34th Street (Herald Square)
640 5th Avenue at 51st Street
731 Lexington Avenue at 59th Street

Los Angeles:
5200 Beverly Center

West Hollywood:
8580 Sunset Blvd.

San Francisco:
150 Powell Street

840 North Michigan Avenue

The line mens and womens wear, accessories and a unisex fragrancefeatures Kawakubos strength in deconstructed tailored clothing, with the expected amount of black, tempered by some navy, some mauve and a bit of pink and you guessed itpolka dots. Celebrities including Nicky Hilton and Katie Holmes have been spotted in the line already, while model/stylist Erin Wasson wore it in the pages of Vogue Japan.

I thought it would be an exciting event to work with H&M in order to sell Comme des Garons clothes in places where they have never been sold and to appeal to people who may not yet understand Comme des Garons. Marrying the commercial expertise of H&M with Comme des Garons creation was a fascinating challenge”, says Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garons.

Fans will be able to pick up wallets, canvas shoes, a scarf and a hat in addition to the jackets, skirts and dress shirts.

*Any Latin students out there? Any lawyers? Anyone get my titles reference to the phrase in re?