The fashion industry’s largest and most respected companies serve as essential training grounds for rising talent. But none have spawned a collection of offspring quite like Rei Kawakubo’s COMME des GARÇONS, a multi-brand business that produces $220 million in revenue per year, yet operates according to an unconventional ethos rooted in raw creativity. While some of Kawakubo’s protégés have launched their own lines under the COMME des GARCONS umbrella – most notably demonstrated by Junya Watanabe – others have left the company to build their own brands, such as Junichi Abe of Kolor, Chitose Abe of Sacai, and Kei Ninomiya of noir kei ninomiya, just to name a few.
“After working hard for many years with the company and proving their abilities and understanding of the values of Comme des Garçons, Kawakubo asks them if they would like to have their own lines,”explained Adrian Joffe, president of Comme des Garçons International and partner of Kawakubo.“It all comes from the same source: the desire to create something different. Our kachikan, or sense of values, goes into everything the company does. Not just clothes but everything. It has to be new. It has to be creative.”
Read the full article over at Business of Fashion.