The History and Evolution of Comme des Garçons: From Rebel

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By bapesta shoes


Comme des Garçons (CDG), translated as “Like Boys” in French, is a fashion house transcending conventional norms, transforming from a rebellious spirit in the fashion industry to a powerhouse on the runway. Founded by Rei Kawakubo in 1969, CDG has redefined avant-garde fashion, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. This exploration delves into the history and evolution of Comme des Garçons, tracing its rebellious beginnings to its current influential status on the fashion runways.

The Birth of Comme des Garçons

Rei Kawakubo’s Vision

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Rei Kawakubo, a visionary designer from Tokyo, established Comme des Garçons in 1969. Kawakubo’s vision was radical; she sought to challenge conventional beauty standards and break traditional fashion rules. Her avant-garde approach was evident from the outset, setting the tone for CDG’s disruptive trajectory in the industry.

Early Years of Rebellion

The early collections of Comme des Garçons Hoodie were marked by their unconventional designs, monochromatic palettes, and deconstructed silhouettes. Kawakubo’s rejection of established fashion norms led to a revolution in the industry, challenging the prevailing notions of beauty and style.

Evolution Through the Decades

1980s: Pioneering Avant-Garde

During the 1980s, Comme des Garçons became synonymous with avant-garde fashion. The brand’s experimental designs, asymmetrical shapes, and innovative use of materials garnered attention and controversy. The “Destroy” collection, known for its distressed and raw aesthetics, stirred debate and fascination within the fashion community.

1990s: Expansion and Collaboration

Entering the 1990s, CDG expanded its presence globally. Rei Kawakubo’s collaborations with artists, such as the renowned British designer Vivienne Westwood, and her unconventional partnerships pushed the boundaries of fashion collaborations, contributing to CDG’s growing influence.

2000s: Redefining High Fashion

The new millennium saw Comme des Garçons solidify its position in high fashion. Rei Kawakubo’s ability to merge art, fashion, and commerce propelled the brand’s success. The launch of various lines within CDG, such as the playful and more accessible “Play” line featuring the iconic heart logo, appealed to a broader audience while retaining the brand’s essence.

Impact on Fashion and Runways

Challenging Conventional Beauty Standards

Throughout its evolution, Comme des Garçons continuously challenged conventional beauty standards. The brand’s focus on creativity and conceptualism over commercial viability paved the way for a new definition of beauty in fashion, inspiring designers to think beyond traditional norms.

Runway Shows as Art Installations

Comme des Garçons’ runway shows are renowned for their avant-garde presentations. Rei Kawakubo’s innovative approach treated each show as an art installation, pushing boundaries and provoking thought. These shows became a platform for artistic expression, influencing the intersection of fashion and art.

Comme des Garçons Today

Continued Innovation and Reinvention

In the present day, Comme des Garçons remains at the forefront of innovation and reinvention. The brand continues to surprise and captivate the fashion world with its unconventional designs and unexpected collaborations, maintaining its status as a pioneer in avant-garde fashion.

Global Influence and Legacy

Comme des Garçons’ legacy extends beyond fashion; it represents a philosophy of rebellion, creativity, and breaking norms. The brand’s global influence is evident in its impact on the runway, its collaborations with various industries, and its ability to challenge the status quo.


In conclusion, Comme des Garçons’ journey from its rebellious origins to its prominent position in the fashion world signifies its unparalleled impact on the industry. Rei Kawakubo’s unwavering commitment to innovation and challenging conventions has solidified CDG’s status as a trailblazer in avant-garde fashion. As the brand continues to evolve, its legacy as a revolutionary force in the fashion landscape remains indelible, inspiring designers and reshaping the future of fashion.

The Birth of Rebellion:

Rei Kawakubo, a self-taught designer from Tokyo, burst onto the fashion scene in the early 1970s with a vision that challenged established norms. Her designs rejected the ornate and lavish styles popular at the time, favoring instead a minimalist aesthetic characterized by asymmetry, monochromatic palettes, and unconventional silhouettes. This departure from convention earned Kawakubo a reputation as a revolutionary figure in the fashion world.

One of Kawakubo’s early collections, titled “Lace,” exemplified her penchant for subverting expectations. Instead of using lace in the traditional sense, she deconstructed and reimagined it, creating garments that were simultaneously fragile and bold. This collection marked the beginning of her exploration of the tension between fragility and strength, a theme that would recur throughout her career.

Innovations in Silhouettes:

Comme des Garçons is renowned for its innovative approach to garment construction and silhouettes. Kawakubo’s designs often challenge the very essence of what a garment can be, blurring the lines between fashion and art. She is known for her experimentation with volume, using exaggerated proportions to create garments that are sculptural and three-dimensional.

One of the brand’s most iconic collections, “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” (also known as the “Lumps and Bumps” collection), showcased Kawakubo’s mastery of unconventional silhouettes. This collection, presented in 1997, featured garments with protruding, padded forms that defied the conventional understanding of the human body’s shape. Kawakubo deliberately distorted the traditional silhouette, inviting viewers to question preconceived notions of beauty and form.

Exploration of Texture and Material:

Beyond innovative silhouettes, Comme des Garçons is celebrated for its exploration of texture and material. Kawakubo has a knack for choosing unexpected fabrics and manipulating them in ways that challenge the norm. She often combines contrasting materials to create visually striking and tactilely interesting pieces.

In the “Flat” collection of 2012, Kawakubo played with 2D and 3D textures, using fabrics that appeared almost two-dimensional while creating garments that exhibited a sense of depth and dimension. This juxtaposition of flatness and volume exemplified her ability to subvert expectations and redefine the boundaries of fashion.

Monochrome and Avant-Garde Palette:

Comme des Garçons is known for its affinity for monochrome palettes, which serve as a canvas for the brand’s exploration of form, texture, and silhouette. The absence of color allows the focus to shift onto the intricacies of design, emphasizing the interplay of shape and material.

While black and white dominate many Comme des Garçons collections, the brand is not averse to occasional bursts of vibrant color. These moments of chromatic intensity serve to punctuate the predominantly monochrome landscape, adding an element of surprise and playfulness to the designs.

Collaborations and Influence:

Comme des Garçons’ influence extends far beyond the realm of fashion, with collaborations that span art, design, and even fragrance. Notable partnerships include collaborations with artists like Cindy Sherman and collaborations with brands like Nike and Converse, where Kawakubo’s avant-garde sensibilities are infused into everyday sportswear.

The brand’s impact on the fashion industry is immeasurable. Rei Kawakubo’s fearless approach to design has inspired generations of designers to break free from the confines of convention, encouraging them to push boundaries and embrace experimentation. Her influence can be seen in the work of designers around the world who have adopted a similarly avant-garde ethos.


Comme des Garçons stands as a testament to the power of creativity to challenge norms and redefine industries. Rei Kawakubo’s uncompromising vision has propelled the brand to the forefront of avant-garde fashion, inspiring designers and captivating audiences worldwide. With its innovative silhouettes, exploration of texture, and monochrome palettes, Comme des Garçons continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of fashion, inviting us all to reconsider our preconceived notions of style and beauty.

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