Japan’s Ultimate Fantasist Makes a Huge Comeback in the Fashion World

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In the world full of different designs, textures, and artists, it is not easy to deep dive into fashion. There are a lot of big names and big brands competing their way to be on the top. One of this is Japan.

Japan is known as a very fashionable country. From the people’s hairstyles to colors, from their tops to shoes, everything is screaming fashion. That is why right now, a lot of fashion designers and labels are trying to take their hands on the international scene.


One of which is Kansai Yamamoto. Yohji is the Yamamoto who is under the emerging fashion brand. He is also the designer who upended the Western ideas of dress alongside Comme des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo during the early 1980s in Paris.

However, Kansai, as he prefers people to address him by his first name to avoid confusion, is already a staple name in the fashion world. He made a name for himself in London in 1971.

A decade before Kawakubo made a name in the fashion world, Kansai is already a big name himself. He overloaded his designs with color, print, and Asiatic art, which proves to be influential to a lot of designers today.


You may not easily recognize Kansai Yamamoto’s name easily, but you will recognize his clothes instantly. One of his famous muses is David Bowie himself.

David Bowie usually dressed up in clashing synthetics as well as high-shine silks in different shades. His clothes were usually loud, even obnoxious at times.

With different sculptural and abstract shapes, most of David Bowie’s clothes were ideal to be seen in front of a crowd and a stadium. The designs and the colors of the clothes designed by Kansai are what attracted Bowie to them.

Bowie started wearing Kansai’s collection in 1972. Although originally made for a woman, Bowie’s 1972 “Ziggy Stardust” tour was made of pieces made by Kansai.


Born in Yokohama, Kansai founded his own business, the Yamamoto Kansai Company Ltd at the age of 28. The following year, he started gaining attention. He also secured a debut cover for the British Harpers and Queens magazine.

Kansai uses the Japanese concept “Basara” or love for color and flamboyance for his clothes. His collections were lavish, bold, decorative, and even aggressive.

Kansai’s signature mixture of colors, textures, and patterns, were evident in Alessandro Michelle’s most recent collection for Gucci. A lot of designers were also inspired by his trademark designs.

Valentino’s pre-fall collection for 2016 was Elio Fiorucci who paid graphic homage to Japan. Everything looked pure Kansai.

Even Riccardo Tisci patterned his final men’s collection for Givenchy in the similar uncanny designs featuring Kansai’s collection. Nicolas Ghesquiere of Louis Vitton also paid homage in his 2018 cruise show which happened in Kyoto.

Ghesquiere enlisted the help of Kansai himself in creating several new graphics. This includes the rework of his grimacing yakko faces in their handbags. According to the predictions made by New York Times, we will be seeing more of Kansai in the next fall collections.