Yohji Yamamoto came into the fashion scene with contemporaries like Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo. Breaking fashion norms was Yamamoto’s speciality from early on. After graduating from Bunko School of Fashion in Tokyo in 1968 he gained a scholarship to study design in Paris where he build up his skills in tailoring and unique use of layers. He traveled back to Japan in 1972 and started his own line. When she showed his first collection in 1980 it was not well understood in the Paris fashion scene.
Yamamoto used black liberally, almost attempting to mask the expert skill in draping and sewing in the garment. Yamamoto wasn’t concerned with traditional ideals of beauty or flattering silhouettes in his designs. He favored a more artistic view of fashion and manipulated traditional garments in attempts to subvert the, to him, banal current of fashion having to be glamorous to be worthwhile. Yamamoto’s vintage designs often are inspired by military uniforms and traditional Japanese kimonos, all altered in his unique way to mean something completely different.