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In today's WWD there's a fairly in-depth interview with the normally reclusive Rei Kawakubo—iconic founder and creative mind behind Comme des Garcons. Kawakubo has just opened IT Beijing Market—a carefully curated showcase not entirely dissimilar to her London shop, the acclaimed Dover Street Market. There were some surprising revelations in the story—including an awkward moment of silence (a refusal to answer?) when Kawakubo was asked about retirement. Here are some choice q-and-as from the password-protected WWD interview.
WWD: How has the inspiration for your collections changed over the course of your career?· Rei Kawakubo on the Record [WWD]
R.K.: Do you think it's changed? For me it hasn’t changed at all. The way I approach each collection is exactly the same?the motivation has always been to create something new, something that didn't exist before. The more experience I have and the more clothes I make, the more difficult it becomes to make something new. Once I’ve made something, I don’t want to do it again, so the breadth of possibility is becoming smaller.
WWD: You mentioned fast fashion. That's been a huge story and obviously you had your collaboration with H&M. Would you consider doing something like that again?
R.K.: That was a special case. They were making a new store in Japan, so it was just a short, two-week relationship. It wasn't a big thing, but I thought it was interesting because they asked me to do all the advertising and visuals as well. H&M has a very different way of thinking and a different business model, so it was interesting to see how much of a connection we could make. But in the end I realized that there wasn’t very much in common, so I don’t think I'll do it again.
WWD: Where do you like to shop?
R.K.: At airports, because I don't have time to shop. I buy my cosmetics at the airport and there's nothing else much I buy. I just don’t have time.
WWD: Do you think the time will come when you don’t want to design anymore and you don't have any more ideas?
R.K.: [No answer]
WWD: Would you consider selling it or listing it on the stock market?
R.K.: I don’t think there's anyone who would want to buy it. I do everything on my own, so there are very few people who could do it. Do you think there's anyone who would buy it? [Joffe interjected half-jokingly with a laugh: "We’re waiting for an offer."]
WWD: Are there any young designers coming up through the ranks you’re keeping your eye on?
R.K.: There are very few. There are few people who, like us, have the values and the way of thinking to really try hard. They lack discipline. And it's not just fashion, I think?[young people] get satisfied too easily. They're not strict enough with themselves. They’re too soft on themselves.