Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe biograhpy

Born: Japan, 1961

Born in Fukushima, Junya Watanabe attended Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion Institute. After graduating in 1984, he started an apprenticeship at Comme des Garçons  working as a patternmaker. With Rei Kawakubo as his mentor, Watanabe worked his way up the business.

Initially Watanabe was promoted to chief designer of the Tricot knitwear line and then followed on to designing for the Comme des Garçons Homme line.

In 1992 he started designing under his own name for the brand, called ‘Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons’. The following year he showed his collection in Paris.

In 2007, Watanabe started a collaboration with Converse to design a range of the iconic All-Star shoes. Two years later in 2009, his designs were chosen by Michelle Obama. Wearing a blue pattern cardigan she chose the designer for her trip to London.
With his designs keeping to the Comme des Garçons aesthetic, Junya Watanabe is known for his innovative and technologically advanced designs that show an appreciation of avant-garde cutting. Watanabe has been called a ‘techno couture’, but like his mentor, is renowned for keeping to the pure lines and stark shapes.

Junya Watanabe biograhpy


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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

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