Rei Kawakubo

There’s a terrific essay by Rei Kawakubo, the high priestess/founder of Comme des Garcons, in the current issue of System magazine that casts doubt on a piece of fashion conventional wisdom that has under-pinned the industry, and the designer myth, as far as I can remember. I am speaking here of the “inspiration” trip/book/cultural event. Is it a bunch of hooey? Maybe. Read more

Yesterday I was on a panel at Harvard Business School with some fellow industry folks, and the first question we were asked was for a definition of “fashion.” One of my fellow speakers, who works on the factoring side of the business, said he thought it was “art.” I disagreed; I have never considered fashion art – in fact, a large part of what I think is interesting about it is precisely its non-art-ness; the fact that when you make clothes, they are by definition to be worn.  Read more

One of the more intriguing collaborations that has come my way has to be the Hermès/Comme des Garcons team-up. What, one thinks, do France’s most classic luxury brand and Japan’s most conceptual designer have in common? More than you might expect — and not just a thing for scarves, though that is what nominally brought them together.

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We Are All Guilty for this Mess,” according to Suzy Menkes, fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune. In a heartfelt piece in her newspaper, my fellow Fashion Week traveller and friend took the fashion industry (herself included) to task for the very public soap opera that is the current round of designer switcheroos, in which bystanders gossip and place bets and tweet about real jobs and real people like they are characters in a reality television game.

It’s tough and honest and has people buzzing at the shows, and I recommend you read it, but I’m also not sure I entirely agree with it. I think she’s right about the situation, but doesn’t fully get to the cause. Read more

Comme des Garcons has announced the closure of the Tao Comme des Garcons label, the young brand launched in 2005, shown in Paris, and designed by Tao Kurihara under the CdG umbrella. It’s unclear whether the decision is personal or financial. Read more