Comme des Garçons (CDG) created its own pathway into the fashion world that no other clothing lines would have ever imagined.
Comme des Garçons’ Inception
Originated by designer and personal stylist Rei Kawakubo in 1973. The Tokyo based brand had a very distinct style and aesthetic that set it apart from other brands. While Kawakubo was working as a stylist, she found it hard to find clothing that would fit just how she wanted it. The artist visualized a fashion brand that went against the grain and made it a reality.
CDG is based on the fundamental belief that clothing isn’t about how you look, but how you feel. The brand has actively shared that they are an “Anti-Fashion Brand”, as their designs would often go against the status quo. In 1978 CDG officially released their first menswear collection, that would surprise many for the years to come.
The all black collections are made with distressed denims, shapeless garments and androgynous concepts. These characteristics would become the brand’s calling card in the fashion world. The brand would continue to rely on these characteristics as their image in the vast collections of clothing brands.
Kawakubo was able to carve out her own upcoming style in the fashion world. She would continue to impress as she opened her first overseas boutique in Paris in 1982.
Brand Expansion via Junya Watanabe
In later years Kawakubo would look to evolve her brand by working alongside other accomplished designers in the field. Junya Watanabe served as a mentee to Kawakubo from 1984 to 1992. He was then given the offer to design his own line alongside the Comme des Garçons mega brand.
Watanabe’s collection titled “Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons” would help the entirety of the CDG brand grow as a whole. Leaving behind the standard black linens and deconstructed fashion, Watanabe’s line would be made to appeal to more of the ‘normal’ fashion consumer with lifestyle clothing.
Although still connecting with CDG’s unique sizing and shapes, Watanabe would pursue experimenting with color and different fabrics, tones and textures.
Creation of Comme des Garçons Play
The more casual look created by Watanabe would lead to the 2002 opening of “Comme des Garçons Play” line. Play would design and target toward young men and women who fancy the street wear style.
As a result, CDG would be more accessible to the average person than ever before.
Boasting the ever so familiar red heart with bug eyes created by graphic designer Filip Pagowski, the brand has exploded into the limelight in the past decade.
Originally being sported in the early 2000’s by artists such as Kanye West, Drake and Pharrell Williams, the diffusion line would become the top selling CDG line in history. Play would often collaborate with street wear fashion giants like Supreme, Stussy, Louis Vuitton and Jordan.
However, the constant collaboration of the company would open the doors for the brand’s biggest collaboration to date.
Working side-by-side with Nike and All Star in 2009, CDG created the instantly recognizable Play Converse Chuck Taylor 70s. The classic Chuck Taylor model with the Play heart logo peering out on the spectators of the shoe. There’s nothing more recognizable than that. The shoes have been released for 10 years, but are still selling off of shelves in minutes online.
CDG’s profitability, credibility and quality have bolstered the brand to the upper echelons of the clothing world.
Rei Kawakubo took conventional beliefs of the fashion industry, flipped them on their head and created her own distinctive style.
The brand has grown as an originator and influence through creating their own image.
As their brand continues to grow the possibilities will continue to be endless for one of the biggest fashion brands in the world.
From the signs of it, they will not slow down anytime in the future.