Publicity-Shy Rei Kawakubo Speaks, Says She Never Intends To Make Clothes

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rei-kawakubo Rei Kawakubo is one of the first names to know when one is bitten by the bug of "fashion geekery," the example of a true designer/artist, a visionary who not only plays by her own rules but continually reorganizes the game. Every season, Comme des Garçons is worth a watch, be it for Kawakubo's imaginative offerings, her revolutionary approach to fashion as being something beyond what is worn, or her confounding take on cut, silhouette, and material, often offering the downright unwearable.

Kawakubo is just as mysterious as her brand, which both exists always one step ahead (outside? In another galaxy?) of the fashion pack. Lucky for us, the famously tight-lipped designer just hit her seventh decade and sat down with WWD. While the pub valiantly tried to get in the mind of one of the most creative designers of the century, Kawakubo repeats the same thing again and again: All she wants is to push for the new, a statement she has made before. "As the weight of experience piles up," she says, "it has become increasingly difficult to find yet new ways of thinking and to make new things.”

Again, when asked about what inspired her 2-D fall collection, she echoes the sentiment: "I can honestly never remember clearly what I was thinking about at the time. I was only trying to make something completely new. There is never more meaning than that. I was not thinking about the age of Internet when I was making the fall-winter 2012 collection.” But mostly, she just wants to create, instead of creating fashion. "My head would be too restricted if I only thought about making clothes," she says of the way she approaches each new season.

The new, the un-thought-of, the forward-moving: This is the realm of Kawakubo, and hearing from her is such a rarity that, when she speaks, the fashion world undoubtedly perks up and pays attention when she does. (WWD)

Photo: Courtesy of WWD