Cult designer Junya Watanabe, protégé of the legendary Rei Kawakubo, makes womens and mens clothing that is simultaneously intensely cerebral and incredibly wearable. Long-hailed for his avant-garde approach to fashion, the Japanese designer founded his eponymous label in 1993 after working for Comme des Garcons for eight years. Famously inscrutable in interviews, Watanabe prefers to let his work speak for itself, and the cutting-edge materials (glow-in-the-dark fibers, for instance) and inspired construction of the shirts, shoes, wallets and cardigans (think unexpected zippers, origami-like folds of tissued fabric and more) are perfect for people looking for the perfect understated statement piece – Junya Watanabe is responsible for a blend of startling and subtle that few can hope to match.
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