When it comes to crafting pieces worth collecting, Junya Watanabe has delivered for well over two decades. His ability to mix fabrics and production techniques has made him one of the most respected designers in Japan. The DNA of his label focuses on applying innovative twists to key wardrobe staples. In fact the tag on each Junya Watanabe MAN piece states the following:

Something Real
Something that has history, that has a traditional shape
Our way of originality
A New feeling for Basics

Junya Watanabe started his career in fashion right out of school. Watanabe graduated from the prestigious Bunka Fashion College in 1984 and immediately joined the Comme des Garçons as a pattern cutter. Working directly under the tutelage of Rei Kawakubo, Junya quickly ascended the ranks in the company eventually being named the creative director of the Tricot knitwear line. He held the position until 1992 when he was given the opportunity to launch his own label under the name “Junya Watanabe Comme Des Garçons” in 1993 and began showing in Paris that same year. It wasn’t until 2001 however that he began producing menswear.

Watanabe quickly made a name for himself through with his innovative approach to design. His experiments with cutting-edge fabrics, original tailoring and unique pattern-making quickly earned him a cult following among fashion’s elite. Under the guidance of mentor Rei Kawakubo, Watanabe applied a similar avante garde deconstructionist approach. However his menswear is still grounded in a respect for vintage garments and production. That is perhaps why Junya Watanabe’s collaborations with such a wide array of companies have been so successful.

Watanabe strives for authenticity when it comes to executing specific garments and history has shown that he is willing to go straight to the source for production. While collabs are extremely commonplace in fashion today, Junya was really a trailblazer in the art of the collaboration. While this is far from an exhaustive list, these are some of the best men’s collaborations Junya Watanabe has done to date.

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