Yohji Yamamoto

Like fellow Big Three Japanese designers Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto is less of a fashion designer and more of an empire these days. His eponymous brands are responsible for ample menswear and womenswear collections, sure, but his name has been attached to so much stuff that "Yohji Yamamoto" is barely recognizable as a mere clothing company.

Over the past couple years alone, for instance, Yamamoto has dropped phone cases, a Lamborghini, watches (both affordable and expensive), a Supreme collection, and a million other things between various sub-labels like Bang On!, Ground Y, SYTE, and Y-3.

Hence why Yamamoto's Isetan Men's pop-up in Kyoto on May 14 — theme: "REDEFINING" — is much more than apparel alone.

Yes, there will be classic Yamamoto garb, like wool gabardine jackets and billowing trousers, but the core of the offering is a seasonal selection that demonstrates the breadth of Yamamoto's contemporary offering.

Shirts from Yamamoto's mainline menswear line, Pour Homme, are printed with artworks from Suzume Uchida and the estate of dystopian surrealist Zdzisław Beksiński, yielding asymmetric layering pieces that juxtapose lush graphics against a black base.

Priced upwards of ¥118,800 (about $920), the artist collaboration shirts are not for the casual Yamamoto consumer. So, there are also accessible staples, like a two-piece polo shirt package and sweatsuits, that reflect Yamamoto's openness to athleisure.

Home goods include bespoke Imabari towels patterned with Yamamoto's signature "skull & rose" design and a selection of "L'odeur Yohji Yamamoto," the designer's fragrance line.

Here, you can find everything from cologne to shampoo to diffuser scents, though the wildest thing might be the portable Yohji Yamamoto hand spray — not the kinda thing you'd have expected The Poet of Black to create even a couple decades ago, but this is the Yamamoto of today.

He's a business, man, and his business no longer centers around arcane black clothing alone. But even as Yamamoto the brand expands into lifestyle products aplenty, Yamamoto's core collections are as sharp as ever.

So, really, it's kind of a win-win, especially now that you can shop it all via the relatively new Yohji Yamamoto web store.

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