The reclusive Comme des Garcons designer sat down with WSJ Magazine to share her finely drawn opinions on fashion as an art v business, what makes a high-street collaboration worth it and the overall purpose of design. Here are some of her standout quotes from the interview:
On the business of fashion: My work has never been as an artist. I have only continued all these years to try to make a business with creation.... I cannot separate being a designer from being a businesswoman. Its one and the same thing for me.
On mass-market collaborations: With H&M, I was tempted to try to see how Comme des Garcons could appeal to the mass market. I wouldnt do it again, but it was a great success and very popular with our younger clientele.... Collaborations have no meaning if 1 + 1 does not equal much more than 2.
On how she feels about fashion after four decades: I dont feel too excited about fashion today, more fearful that people dont necessarily want or need strong new clothes, that there are not enough of us believing in the same thing, that there is a kind of burnout, that people just want cheap fast clothes and are happy to look like everyone else, that the flame of creation has gone a bit cold, that enthusiasm and passionate anger for change and rattling the status quo is weakening. But what I still love about it is that playing the fool, acting silly, showing off, being a celebrity designer are all integral and necessary parts of the fashion business.