The smARTORIALIST: Kingdom Comme [pt.2]
We’re revisiting Kindom Comme: the 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 Comme des Garcons in 1984, working as a patternmaker. Now, through several power moves, Junya became one of the most influential designers at the label — in fact, he’s responsible for much of the Homme line’s character. Eventually he was given the appropriate title of “Rei’s Protege”.
Junya has a keen interest in using “technologically-advanced textiles and fabrics”, not to mention his use of cotton. [HOW CROSS-OVER is THAT!!] Think back to some of Junya’s most noted contributions — they come in the form of collaborations. And whom does he collaborate with…Iconic Sneaker Brands. Converse, New Balance, Nike, and Vans all have been blessed by the Rei Protege’ (under eYe), just as runways in Paris and Milan have. And the whole time, Junya’s connection to Comme only strengthened, doing more exploration of patterns and male silhouettes with his label eYe and Comme des Garcons at the helm. “How did Comme benefit,” you ask. Well, they were provided with the PERFECT Petri dish to test nontraditional Comme des Garcons concepts…..like working with common treasures.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of Kingdom Comme, where we’ll discuss the positioning tactics Comme has used to broaden it’s luxe-hybrid market.