The influence of Bunka Fashion College on Japan's fashion industry cannot be overstated. Situated in Tokyo, Bunka was founded in 1923 as a dressmaking school by Isaburo Namiki who was concerned that the westernization of Japan would lead to the demise of the kimono, the country's standard style of dress at the time. Thus, the school’s core focus gravitates around the intersection of self-expression and the preservation of Japanese culture. Students are encouraged to incorporate classic Japanese tropes into their designs, while still producing unique garments that express each student’s individuality.

Bunka’s progressive approach originates from the fundamental values of Japanese culture and two key Japanese ideals: the desire to achieve satori, an enlightenment that is the reward for intense concentration on the task at hand, and kaizen, a way of thinking about continuous improvement. Drive and concentration are necessary to thrive at Bunka and, in turn, the college had churned out a collective of talented designers who continue to push their respective boundaries.

From avant-garde designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Kenzo Takada, who found their way into the Parisian fashion scene, to contemporary designers like Junya Watanabe and Tsumori Chisato, Bunka has nurtured an impressive array of designers, each of whom has contributed to the steady growth of Japan’s position in the fashion industry.

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Tags: rei-kawakubo, issey-miyake, nigo, kenzo-takada, tsumori-chisato, yohji-yamamoto, jun-takahashi, junya-watanabe