The smARTORIALIST: Kingdom Comme [pt.1]

with 3 comments

Rei Kawakubo

Let’s face it, Luxury brands aren’t for everyone — by design. Whether it’s the cost, the availability, or the product construct, luxury labels present a huge barrier-to-entry. However, Comme des Garcons has been slowly transforming into what we call, the Luxe-Hybrid — an entity that straddles the fence between fashion elitism and common trend.

Rei Kawakubo has been known for her avant garde style, infusing deconstruction concepts, asymmetry, and monochromatic colour treatments into garments for years. And up until recently — these looks were merely…looks: ensembles so impractical or unattainable that “fiscally-challenged” trendsetters could only use the pictures for inspiration. Between 1969 and 2009 — Rei & Co. had a change of heart…or something like it (Let’s just name that the Junya Watanabe Effect — we’ll come back to this).

Somewhere along the line, Comme embraced “the collaboration”. They have brought the labels’ high-end style concepts to several of the industry’s reputable yet more “practical” brands — strategically placing Comme des Garcons within the grasp of  cult followers. And in my humble smartorialistic opinion, therein marks the definitive luxe-hybrid turning point. In this 4 part smARTORIALIST series , we will discuss Kindom Comme: the key choices that Comme des Garcons has made to sustain it’s luxury-edge while gently floating down to Earth (or somewhere near it’s atmosphere). Stay tuned.

Written by great8productions

March 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm

3 Responses

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  1. A very fashionable Comme des Garcons fan (and friend of mine) expressed serious disappointment with the CdG-H&M collaboration, and I can’t say that I was wowed either. This could have been a great op for the brand and they flopped, a la Madonna-H&M collaboration.
    Care to comment?
    – Johanne


    March 24, 2009 at 2:26 pm

  2. Well, that’s actually what we’re going to discuss in pt. 4. But in a nutshell, the collaboration (in my humble opinion) was a flop — but more so an experiment. The creative minds behind the brand were attempting to expose the style to others, as well as increase the exclusivity of their own products. I wasn’t a fan of the looks, but I do respect the strategy — hence why they are Kingdom Comme.


    March 27, 2009 at 11:49 am

  3. […] key choices that Comme des Garcons has made to become a luxe-hybrid brand. In the last installment [Part 1], I mentioned the Junya Watanabe Effect. For a little background info, Junya became an apprentice at […]

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