The perpetually elusive founder and creative director of Comme des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo, has done something quite out of character – she’s permitted an interview with American Vogue. The designer rarely breaks her cagey persona to offer us insight into her brilliant mind. If you search “Rei Kawakubo Interview” on YouTube, you would be hard-pressed to find a single one. That’s why the event (trust me, it’s an event) of her Vogue interview has been met with such hype.
Mind you, it’s understandable why Kawakubo has granted the opportunity to American Vogue, as the magazine’s head honcho, Anna Wintour, is set to honour her work at this year’s Met Gala. The theme of 2017’s celebrity-studded-spectacle is ‘Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between’, which marks the opening of an exhibition at The Met, showcasing Kawakubo’s work from 1981 till now.
The interview itself is as peculiar as one could imagine an interview with Kawakubo to be. Within, she reveals she never went to fashion school – a fact that’s almost laughable, considering how acutely revered she is by the fashion industry at large. Equally as amusing is when she’s asked by Vogue’s Lynn Yaeger what makes her laugh, she replies with this corker: “Nothing”. I can only imagine how awkward that was for the journalist to recover from. Further on in the piece, when asked about what she will wear to this year’s Gala honouring her career, she shakes her head and says she’s not going, before her husband, who was present during the interview, shakes his head and sweetly says to her she has to go.
Quite simply, Rei Kawakubo is amazing – Queen of No Fucks Given.
- Words: Matthew Harden