Junya Watanabe is a fashion designer working in Tokyo. Born in Fukushima in 1961, Watanabe graduated from Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo in 1984 and immediately joined Comme des Garçons as a pattern cutter and underling of founder-owner of Comme des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo. Three years later, Watanabe began designing the Comme des Garçons ‘Tricot’ line and after a further five years he introduced his first own-label collection in 1992. Although designing under his own name, Watanabe still works under the overall Comme des Garçons title, which administrates and produces his collections. In 1993 Watanabe moved his shows from Tokyo to Paris and another eight years later he launched a menswear line in 2001.
Junya Watanabe is renowned for his avant-garde style; in particular, his exploration of new cutting concepts, his ingenious sourcing of fabrics and innovative draping techniques. Just as Watanabe was nurtured by Comme des Garcons, Watanabe has recently encouraged his own protégé to launch her own label under the umbrella Comme des Garcons label. Tao Kurihara, who had worked for Junya Watanabe since graduating from Central Saint Martin’s in 1997, presented her first collection at the Autumn/Winter ’05-6 collections in Paris during March 2005. Recently opened Comme des Garcons store 'Dover Street Market' in London, stocks brands which have been personally selected by Rei Kawakubo, and includes Junya Watanabe's women's and menswear ranges. Comme de Garcons is currently setting up Guerilla stored for periods of a month each in diverse locations across Rekjavik, Hong Kong, Glasgow and Berlin, currenty holding occupation in Singapore.
Watanabe debuted in the prestigious Dictionnaire International de la Mode in 2005, and has nearly fifty retail outlets worldwide.
- Junya Watanabe features in a project.