The focus of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s forthcoming Spring 2017 exhibition at The Costume Institute, Rei Kawakubo is a radical creative whose avant-garde aesthetic has elevated fashion from mere industry to total art form. Notoriously media-shy, she firmly believes that her work speaks for itself. For Document No. 9, the designer shares a rare insight into her world to accompany this Comme des Garçons special feature: 

“My works abounds in paradoxes and accidents… I have never changed from my search for finding something new for every collection. That is what I decided to do 47 years ago and that is what i have to keep trying to do… nothing changes within the “everything changes”. and to have a chance to succeed, i have to be free (from every constraint of the fashion industry) but because I can’t do anything else, i am anything but free… and yet the best creation often comes out of the most severe most self-inflicted restraints… like the best freedom often comes after the end of the most tyrannical of situations…in the photos you can see what a woman rebel fighting tyranny in say the 18th century might have looked like.” — Rei Kawakubo

Fashion Editor Jodie Barnes. Photographs Talia Chetrit. Model Maeve Whalen at MC2. Special thanks George MiscambleMathias Pardo.

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