Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto is an influential Japanese fashion designer based in Tokyo and Paris. Yohji is considered a master tailor along side those such as Madeleine Vionnet, yohji is known for his avant-garde tailoring featuring Japanese design aesthetics.

Born in tokyo, yohji graduated from Keio University with a degree in law in 1966. he then gave up on his legal career to assist his mother in dress making business, that is where he gained his excellent tailoring skills, he further studied at Bunka Fashion College, getting a degree in 1969.

His commercially successful main line, Yohji Yamamoto (women/men) and Y’s, are especially popular in Tokyo. These two lines are also available at his flagship stores in Paris and Antwerp, and at high-end department stores worldwide. Other principal lines include Pour Homme, Costume d’Homme, and the diffusion line Coming Soon. Yohji Yamamoto Inc. reported in 2007 that the sales of Yamamoto’s two main lines average above $100 million annually.

Yamamoto is known for an avant-garde spirit in his clothing, frequently creating designs far removed from current trends. His signature oversized silhouettes often feature drapery in varying textures. Yohji’ collections are predominately made in black, a colour which Yamamoto has described as “modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says this: “I don’t bother you – don’t bother me”.




Issey Miyaki

He is recognized worldwide for his contemporary, industrial and innovative apparel designs, fragrances and exhibitions. His work cuts the edge of science and fashion, combining the two into a harmonizing symphony using unconventional materials.

Issey Miyake was born on April 22, 1938, in Hiroshima, Japan. In the 1960s, he designed for Givenchy in Paris, after which he designed for Geoffrey Beene in Manhattan. In 1970, Miyake started his own design studio. During the 1970s, he toyed with avant-garde Eastern designs. In the 1980s, he began using technology new East meets West textiles. He started Pleats Please in 1993 and A Piece of Cloth in 1999.

In the late 1980s, he began to experiment with new methods of pleating that would allow both flexibility of movement for the wearer as well as ease of care and production. In which the garments are cut and sewn first, then sandwiched between layers of paper and fed into a heat press, where they are pleated. The fabric’s ‘memory’ holds the pleats and when the garments are liberated from their paper cocoon, they are ready-to wear. He did the costume for Ballett Frankfurt with pleats in a piece named “the Loss of Small Detail” William Forsythe and also work on ballet “Garden in the setting”.

Issey Miyake lines and brands
Mr Miyake “oversees the overall direction of all lines created by his company”, even though the individual collections have been designed by his staff since his ‘retirement’ from the fashion world in 1997.


Issey Miyake – main collection line, subdivided into men (since 1978/85) and women (since 1971) collections, designed by Dai Fujiwara[7] (succeeded Naoki Takizawa in 2006)
Issey Miyake Fête – colorful women’s line that “draws on the technological innovations of Pleats Please” (Fête means ‘celebration’ in French) (since 2004)
Pleats Please Issey Miyake – polyester jersey garments for women that are first “cut and sewn and then pleated […] (normally, fabric is first pleated and then cut and sewn […])” “to permanently retain washboard rows of horizontal, vertical or diagonal knife-edge pleats.”Miyake patented the technique in 1993
HaaT – women’s line, designed by Miyake’s former textile designer, Makiko Minagawa. HaaT means ‘village market’ in Sanskrit, the word sound similar to ‘heart’ in English
A-POC – 1998- custom-collection for men and women. Tubes of fabric are machine-processed and can be cut into various shapes by the consumer. A-POC is an acronym of ‘a piece of cloth’, and a near homonym of ‘epoch’.
132 5. Issey Miyake – an evolution of the A-POC concept. Works are presented as two-dimensional geometric shapes made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate mixed with natural fibers and dyes, which then unfold into structured garments. (since 2014)
me Issey Miyake – line of “exclusive one-sized shirts that stretch to fit the wearer” that are sold in plastic tube, named Cauliflower for the non-Asian market. (since 2001)
Bao Bao Issey Miyake – line of bags
Issey Miyake Watches – men’s and women’s watches
Issey Miyake Perfumes – line of fragrances for men and women. See below
Evian by Issey Miyake – Limited edition bottle designed by Issey Miyake for Evian water.
Issey Miyake maintains a freestanding store, named ELTTOB TEP Issey Miyake (reverse for ‘Pet Bottle’) in Osaka where the full array of lines is available.
21 21 Design Sight (a play on 20/20 vision) is a museum-style research center for design, constructed by Tadao Ando, that was opened in Roppongi, Tokyo in March 2007. The center is headed by Issey Miyake and four other Japanese designers, and operated by The Miyake Issey Foundation.
The Miyake Issey Foundation, founded in Tokyo in 2004, operates the 21_21 Design Sight center, organizes exhibitions and events, and publishes literature.

In 2005, he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture.
Miyake won the Arts and Philosophy Kyoto Prize in 2006
Japan’s Order of Culture, 2010
XXIII Premio Compasso d’Oro ADI, 2014, for family of lamps IN-EI Issey Miyake, Artemide.









Takashi Kono

In an era when the Japanese world of graphic design was shaken by the arrival of creative power of the US and Europe, Takashi Kono, an artist with the spirit of his Edo forebears, believed that what was of foreign origin was indeed “foreign,” and he hoped for a rebirth of Japanese forms and colors in commercial art. What he depicts are concisely abbreviated forms of nature: mountains, fields, flowers, animals, fish. But, with startling wit and forms and colours

One example of his work of this time is “Sheltered Weaklings-Japan”. The black background signifies the international politics surrounding Japan in the early 1950s and Japan is represented by a school of fish docilely trailing an enormous shark (USA). The tiny fish have diminutive white bodies and red circles for eyes.


Isamu Noguchi

Blog Japanese
Isamu Noguchi was born in America on 17th November 1904 and died on 30th December 1988. His most famous works were between 1920’s and 1980’s.
He said ” There is a difference between actual cubic feet of space and the additional space that the imagination supplies. One is measure, the other an awareness of the void – of our existence in this passing world.”
The above Quote from the book Titled Isamu Noguchi  published in 1986 by Chronicle Books.
In this book it portrays beautiful versions of the paper lamps.


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He also designed tables
imagesDQF566KV JapaneseimagesPRYVIS6I Japanese Isamu Nogushi
  And amazing sculptures
imagesS97PJKGF Japanese

Serizawa Keisuke

Post~war   Japanesese






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Paper Making

Keisuke Serizawa’s “Paper Making” is a fine example of his ‘Mingei’. This original hand-stenciled dye print is printed upon Japanese hand-made mulberry (rice) paper and with full margins as published by the Keisuke Serizawa workshop around 1970.


(Printmaker; Japanese; 1895 – 1984)

Serizawa Keisuke

Print artist. Serizawa was not strictly a printmaker, except in the form of illustrated books, but through those publications in folk styles he had considerable influence on graphic art, especially on Munakata, Watanabe Sadao and Mori Yoshitoshi. He was born in Shizuoka and graduated in 1917 from the Tokyo Koto Kogyo Gakko (Design Section at the Tokyo High School of Industry). While working as a designer, he studied the techniques of dyeing. He was an early adherent of Yanagi Soetsu and the Folk Art Movement. He made a special study of the Okinawan stencil-dyeing method called ‘bingata’ and the Edo-period stencil technique of ‘komon’ (small patterns). From these he developed his own more self-conscious style. 

Serizawas  main field became stencil-dyed books of which the grandest was ‘Honen Shonin eden’ , and in the following year he was introduced to the group of young dyeing craftsmen called Moegi-kai, which included Watanabe Sadao. After the Pacific War recognition of his skills developed quickly, and in 1957 they were recognised by the Japanese Government as ‘Intangible Cultural Assets’. In 1962 he had a celebrated dispute with Mori Yoshitoshi about whether craft and art are the same. In 1962 he was asked to design two panels for the rebuilding of the Imperial Palace. In 1977 he received the Award of Cultural Merit and in the same year had a major exhibition in Paris. In 1981 the Serizawa Keisuke Art Museum was opened in his native Shizuoka, which includes not only his books but many textile designs and his collection of folk art. Later in his career he taught at Tama University and the Women’s Art University. His work can still be bought today and was very popular during the war.









Hanae Mori – Post War Japanese

Related image

A very well-known Japanese fashion designer, Hanae Mori, was born in 1926. She is the only Japanese woman to have presented her collections on runways of Paris and New York and the first Asian woman to be admitted as official haute couture design house in France.

Hanae Mori graduated from Tokyo Women’s Christian University where she studied literature. She married after and attended dress-making school where she discovered her love for fashion. She began in the 1950s, making clothes for Japanese films. Since then she has branched out to design for the opera and ballet. Her first atelier was opened in 1951. She met Coco Chanel in 1961, and influenced her to pursue haute couture.

She is notable for her hand-beaded evening dresses, covered with glittering butterflies. She chose the butterfly image, she said, because her life was transformed too, from traditional Japanese woman to international business mogul. She has created many designs that include shoes, stockings, gloves, ties, belts, handbags, umbrellas, sunglasses, aprons, carpets and laquerware. She also has a range of fragrances, including Hanae Mori Butterfly. Her influences were butterflies, the connection between Western and Oriental culture, and Coco Chanel. Her style has a sense of feminine beauty and uses an artistic use of colour and fabric in her designs.

By stepping outside current trends and concentrating on conservative but always feminine daywear, Mori has established a niche for herself in the Parisian fashion arena. Integral to this is the sense of the longevity of her easy-to-wear separates, which even in the ready-to-wear line retain a delicacy of touch through the textiles used. Mori elaborates on the basic tenets of combining fine fabrics and flattering cut, adding her own feel for the dramatic to her eye-catching eveningwear. Some evening wear is hand painted to resemble Japanese screens.

She has 60 boutiques as well as a shopping-and-dining complex – the Hanae Mori Building in Japan. In Paris, she has two ready-to-wear boutiques along with her couture salon. And in the United States, major specialty stores carry her label, including I. Magnin and NeimanMarcus in Beverly Hills.

Mori has retired from the runway but still has a few boutiques. Her fragrance division, Hanae Mori Parfums, is still active and produces a series of acclaimed fragrances including Hanae Mori Butterfly for women, HM for Men and Hanae Mori Magical Moon for women. Hanae Mori Parfums are made in France and distributed worldwide. It can be purchased throughout the United States at stores such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Sephora.








Masanori Umeda Japanese Designer

Japanese designer masanori umeda is known for his poetic playful furniture pieces, many of which draw on nature,in particular the shape of blossoming flowers such as his ‘getsuen’ and ‘rose’ armchairs anenome01

Masanori Umeda (1941, Kanagawa, Japan) has become renowned for his floral chairs. Physicalizing orchids, roses, and anthuriums into playfully functional furniture, Umeda has invented a vert distinct style. His latest design featured above is a stool that fashioned ‘anemone’ is the motif of an anemone flower.

Although he trained in Japan, graduating from the Kuwasama Design School in Tokyo in 1962, Umeda established a reputation in the West, particularly through his contributions to the Milan‐based avant‐garde design group Memphis in the 1980s. He had begun his career in Italy in 1967 when he worked in Achille Castiglione’s architecture and design studio for two years. In 1970 he became a consultant designer for the Italian office equipment manufacturer Olivetti, working on products, furniture, and interiors which was a huge turning point in his career. In 1980 he opened his own studio- U Metadesign Inc. His designs including the Ginza Robot cabinet (1982) featured below is a stand out, combining references to the fashionable shopping district in central Tokyo with a widely recognisable feature of Japanese popular culture. He also designed for the imaginative Italian furniture manufacturer Edra Mazzei (established 1987), including the Rose (1990) and Getsuen (1990) chairs which have been also featured as images. Umeda still  contributes to his U-Meta design firm in Tokyo, where he can  continue to produce poetic and postmodern furniture.

Umeda’s designs very much push the boundaries of modern furniture design- visually understated but creatively complex.  An example of exactly this; includes his signature furniture piece featured above- the boxing ring. Umeda’s designs very much have helped shape contemporary furniture design throughout the 20th century. In actual fact, Umeda can hardly go unnoticed!!! He has participated in several international exhibitions winning several awards for his designs which still gain recognition today.

Links include;



Masanori Umeda




Junya Watanabe



Junya Watanabe is a Japanese fashion designer who originally studied under Comme des Garcons designer, Rei Kawakubo. A graduate of Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo in 1984, he began his career as a patternmaker at CDG and was soon promoted to chief designer of the Tricot line, followed by CDG Homme. He started his own line under the label, called Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons, in 1993 and began showing in Paris. As is his mentor, Watanabe is renowned for his innovative and distinctly avant-garde, technically brilliant style in his experiments with cutting-edge fabrics, original tailoring and complex draping.

He doesn’t appear for the customary bow at the end of his runway shows, presented four times a year in Paris. He rarely grants interviews, refuses to discuss his personal life and is reticent even to talk about his work. Many of his own employees have never been to his studio. “He doesn’t have a problem with talking about his clothes and creation but he’s a little hesitant about talking about personal interests .

Junya Watanabe has always been fluent in the language of street style: His consistently brilliant chopped-up and redone jeans, motorcycle jackets, and army surplus are avidly-amassed wardrobe trophies for his followers. Strangely, though, so little is known about this very private Japanese designer that it’s easy to project onto him the persona of a recluse who works in isolation in Tokyo, while perhaps enjoying solving geometry equations on the side. With his spring collection, it became apparent that the hermit-like suppositions might not be true—because Watanabe hung out in Berlin before coming up with the powerful meld of street-tribe clothes and spiky 3D geometry he put out today.

Junya Watanabe is to Japanese design what Hedi Slimane was at Saint Laurent—though, of course, much more discreet.

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Ikko Tanaka

Ikko Tanaka

Born in Nara, Japan in 1930, Ikko Tanaka created a style of graphic design that fused modernism principles and aesthetics with the Japanese tradition. As a child he studied art and as a young adult he was involved in modern drama and theatrical study groups. In 1963 he formed Tanaka Design Studio where he worked for corporations such as Mazda, Hanae Mori, Issey Miyake and the International Garden and Greenery Exhibition.

When Mr. Tanaka began working in the late 1950’s, contemporary Japanese designers were trying to balance respect for the past with the imperatives of a commercially driven industrial society. Mr. Tanaka succeeded in marrying past and present in graphic compositions that were strong and clean, colorful and playful and unerringly precise. He borrowed the simple shapes and patterns of ancient arts and incorporated them into designs that were definitely of his time and place.

He is most well-known for his poster design for the Nihon Buyo performance by the Asian Performing Arts Institute. The poster shows his fusion of modernist sensibilities and traditional Japanese culture through the simplified illustration of a geisha. He designed, among other things, posters, logos, packaging and annual reports. Among his wide ranging work, his designs for the symbols for the Expo ’85 in Tsukuba and the World City Expo Tokyo ’96 garnered much attention. He died in 2002 of a heart attack at the age of 71.








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Sori Yanagi Aka

Sori Yanagi Aka

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Sori Yanagi aka Munemichi Yanagi (1915 – 2011)
After winning both 1st and 2nd place in the first Japan Industrial Design Contest in 1952 Sori Yanagi established his own design studio. In 1957 he was invited to participate in the 11th Milan Triennial where his “Butterfly Stool” won the golden prize. In 1980 he became the first designer to hold an exhibition at the prestigious Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan, Italy.

Yanagi was known for his unique forms, which brought simplicity and unexpected practicality into everyday homes through his industrial designs in everything from kitchenware and furniture to toys and even bridges. Yanagi never lost sight of aesthetic and artistic ideals. Yet his work was functional and practical, demonstrated by usage in the the everyday household day-in and day-out.Yanagi helped open doors as an international artist and paved the way for future designers to display their work abroad. He passed away on Christmas day, 2011



Design Sori Yanagi, 1954
Lacquered bent plywood, brass fittings
Made in Switzerland by Vitra

“true beauty is not made; it is born naturally”, Sori Yanagi.
Long admired for it’s sculptural silhouette, Sori Yanagi’s 1954 Butterfly Stool has been an elusive beauty to net. Vintage examples often command upwards of a few thousand dollars at auction. Originally produced and distributed only in Japan, Vitra has secured the authorization and license to produce and distribute this classic.

Designed by Sori Yanagi between 1997 and 2000, the keywords for their design are simplicity and functionality. In 1998, the series won the prestigious Good Design Award in Japan. These tools are produced in Niigata where is long famous for the quality of its stainless steel and its metal working skills. Sori Yanagi’s kitchen tools embody his values of simplicity and practicality. Influenced by the Japanese folk art movement and modernist ideals, Yanagi’s designs celebrate organic form, beauty and efficiency.

This stainless steel kettle, designed by legendary designer Sori Yanagi in Japan, functions both as the perfect cupping kettle and the everyday essential kettle for home. Easy to hold, and easy to pour, the manufacture of this beautiful kettle involves an elaborate process, and is Yanagi’s highest selling product since it was introduced in 1994. Winning the Japanese Good Design Award in 1998, this beautifully functional kettle is the perfect multi-purpose kettle.


Sori Yanagi Aka Information 

Sori Yanagi Aka Butterfly StoolSori Yanagi Aka Butterfly Stool

Sori Yanagi Aka Steel Mixing Bowl

Sori Yanagi Aka Stainless Steel Kettle