All you need to know about Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto

Date of birth: 3 October 1943

Birthplace: Japan

Label: Yohji Yamamoto

“My role in all of this is very simple. I make clothing like armor. My clothing protects you from unwelcome eyes.”

Today I want to write about one of my favorite fashion designers – Yohji Yamamoto. His clothing is known for its signature oversized silhouettes, avant-garde, free-spirited aura, and masterful tailoring.

I have created his biography timeline and collected some interesting facts about him. A few months ago I bought “All about Yohji Yamamoto” and “服を作る” books. Both books are written in the Japanese language. Later I will make a post about each book.

服を作る 増補新版-モードを超えて (単行本)

山本耀司。モードの記録。 モードの意味を変えた山本耀司の足跡を探して。

Yohji Yamamoto’s Brand Identity

Yohji Yamamoto


“Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. Black can swallow light, or make black say this: I don’t bother you, so don’t bother me!”.

In an interview for SPECTR magazine, Yohji Yamamoto said that his design philosophy in a word is – “Imperfection” and his main sources of inspiration are women. He also noted that “beautiful” for him is always something unexpected. And he likes it when there’s air between the body and the fabric – an aesthetic that uniquely exists in Japan called “Ma”.

  • Main color is black.
  • Uses deconstruction styles.
  • Gender ambiguity.
  • Assymetric, oversized, less fitted silhouettes.
  • Unique drape.


“I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion.”

Yamamoto’s two main lines are Yohji Yamamoto (ladies) and Y’s (unisex).

And Yamamoto’s other lines include Pour Homme (men), GroundY (affordable prices for young people), and S’yte (limited to EC shop).

Yamamoto has also collaborated with a number of brands, including Adidas (Y-3), Hermès, Mikimoto and Mandarina Duck; and with artists such as Tina Turner, Sir Elton John, Placebo, Takeshi Kitano, Pina Bausch and Heiner Müller.

Brand’s influence:

“I never wanted to walk the main street of fashion. I have been walking the sidewalks of fashion from the beginning, so I’m a bit dark.”

In 2008 he founded the Yohji Yamamoto Fund for Peace. By establishing a fund that sponsors a selected Chinese fashion designer throughout a 2-year-education at a European or Japanese fashion school, Yamamoto wanted to contribute to an improved relationship between Japan and China using the universal language of fashion.

Here are must-know facts about Yohji Yamamoto:

“Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy you will find yourself.”

  1. His favorite English vocabulary words are : asymmetric / contradiction / opposite / corruption / immoral / absurdity / idiotic / ludicrous / resist / destroy / destruction / disobey / incomplete / enjoy / poignant / morphing / damage
  2. Yamamoto hates shopping. “I hate shopping and I am very lazy in the way I dress. I have five pairs of exactly the same pants and shirts. I wear them always, but I do change my underwear daily! I have always been envious of women and the way they have so many options.”
  3. Yamamoto initially wanted to make some kind of mannish outfit for women. “Men’s clothing is more pure in design. It’s more simple and has no decoration. Women want that. When I started designing, I wanted to make men’s clothes for women. But there were no buyers for it. Now there are. I always wonder who decided that there should be a difference in the clothes of men and women. Perhaps men decided this.”
Yohji Yamamoto


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  1. I think there are many ways to interpret a color in particular, black is usually an elegant color that shows maturity and seriousness.
    And to agree with the sexism that exists among clothes in general, there is no parameter to say that it is masculine or feminine.

    1. Sure, it varies from person to person. Have you heard about the psychology of color? I wanted to learn about it more.
      Yeah, everyone deserves the infinite freedom of wearing what makes them happy. 🙂

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