Emerging from an economic and industrial boom in Japan in the 1960s, Japanese designers found inspiration in the fusion of Asian silhouettes with European folklore and American pop culture. The approach of emphasizing an admiration for traditional Japanese art as well as the forms and ideologies of modernism produced some of the world’s most celebrated avant-garde designers such as Kenzo Takada, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto. They’re all credited to having created and established the Japanese aesthetic in global fashion. Their cultural impact also challenged the silhouettes seen in past womenswear designs.
Another thing all these designers, along with names like Hiroko Koshino, Junya Watanabe and Jun Takahashi, have in common? Their roots can be traced back to Bunka Fashion College. Business of Fashion is taking a closer look at the school’s unique approach to fashion education that makes it unlike any other fashion institution in the world. Professor Sanae Kosugi, dean of Bunka Fashion Graduate University and former classmate of Yohji Yamamoto, explains, “Before designing anything, students must understand the human body shape and how human bodies move. Every student, whether they’re studying design or merchandising, has to study this first. To know the body well is very important.”