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Comme des Garçons - spring/summer 2017
Photography Dario Catellani, styling Celestine Cooney

Comme obsessives explain their love of the brand

We asked the staff at Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market what sparked their passion for Rei Kawakubo’s world

You can buy a copy of our latest issue here. Taken from the spring/summer issue of Dazed:

When Rei Kawakubo opened her first Comme des Garçons boutique in Tokyo in 1975, there were no clothes in the window, and no mirrors within. Now, as then, a Comme creation doesn’t need to sit ostentatiously in a shopfront, or be worn in front of a mirror, to draw you in. You might not even choose it; perhaps it chooses you.

At Comme des Garçons boutiques and Dover Street Market, Kawakubo’s self-described ‘beautiful chaos’ of a department store concept, staff have an intimate knowledge of the clothes which, as sales associate Sachi Nozaki (pictured above) puts it, “make me feel strong, in a very quiet way”. Here, sales assistants show customers how the clothes could – not should – be worn, lending new meaning to the phrase ‘showing someone the ropes’. From yesterday, New York’s Met Museum played host to a highly anticipated retrospective of Kawakubo’s career. Nestled beneath the city’s High Line, you’ll find the house’s surrealistic flagship space – there, we speak to the superfans who make up the label’s NY family, and shine a light on their Comme state of mind...


“I feel edgy and confident wearing Comme, and I’m able to work long, hard days without it affecting the garment.”


“The first piece I owned in the Comme universe was a wallet. Wearing Comme makes me feel strong in a very quiet way.”


“To me, Comme has a philosophy that questions everything, pushes you to be a strong individual, and doesn’t conform to traditional norms of dress in our society.” 


“My style is what Comme states as a whole, ‘chaos and beauty’. It’s only frivolous if you give a fuck! And I give a damn.”


“I love Comme’s layers, the hidden meanings and in-betweens, the dark sense of humour that can peer through the seams...”


“Reading the olfactory notes for Comme des Garçons’ anti-fragrances Odeur 53 and Odeur 71 is a strong memory for me. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but the smell of dust on a hot lightbulb is actually familiar and lovely.”


“When people see our store for the first time, they’re amazed – that’s everything! I often show them how to wear (pieces in) different ways, too – very important. You need to listen to what they’re saying.”

It’s Comme week! From red carpet write ups to picks from the archive, head here for pieces celebrating the opening of The Met’s Art of the Inbetween exhibition. 

Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between is at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art NY May 4-September 4