When you’re as established as Yohji Yamamoto, you can stay in cruise control for the rest of your career and no one would mind. Instead, the 78-year-old Japanese designer continues building his empire throughout 2022 as he moves into New York and establishes WILDSIDE, his new brand.
The two events are unrelated, to be clear — Yohji Yamamoto, Inc. apparently purchased the building at 52 Wooster Street in NYC back in December 2021, whereas WILDSIDE is a separate sub-label operating in Japan — but they herald Yamamoto’s biggest year in recent memory.
Yamamoto hasn’t had a store in New York since his two flagships on Grand and Gansevoort closed in 2010, following the designer’s bankruptcy issues. Having long since undergone a restructuring that gave Integral Corp. a majority stake in his company, Yamamoto has built back better and then some over the past decade.
The New York Yohji Yamamoto store already missed its expected Spring 2022 opening date but that’s NY for ya. At least there’s a sign on the door outside affirming that the project is underway.
In the meantime, here’s WILDSIDE.
Imagined as a lifestyle brand with branches in fashion, home goods, and art, Yohji Yamamoto WILDSIDE is launching on the right foot with a series of high-profile collaborations.
On the fashion front, WILDSIDE is getting started with an in-house line and a series of collabs with high-profile peers Needles, Ambush, Hysteric Glamour, MINEDENIM, and NOMA t.d.
The former three ought to be familiar to anyone who’s ever dipped into the surface of Japanese fashion and they provide the requisite rock ‘n roll tracksuits.
MINEDENIM and NOMA t.d. are likely less known but all you really need to know is that the former is a denim-centric brand (duh) run by stylist Tsuyoshi Noguchi and the latter is a textile-savvy manufacturer that frequently teams up with Stüssy.
Available onYohji Yamamoto’s Wildside website from July 20, the WILDSIDE collection will also be available within its own Japanese flagship from Fall 2022.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg: WILDSIDE will also host digital exhibits from likeminded artists, with TAKAY’s photographs of Tadao Ando architecture — TAKAY is Yamamoto’s go-to runway photographer — and Daidō Moriyama’s “Tights” getting things started.
Expect some blog-style articles, as well, with WILDSIDE providing interviews with Noguchi, Motofumi “Poggy” Kogi, and more.
WILDSIDE is clearly aiming to be fully three-dimensional, offering casual Yamamoto fans an approachable introduction into the designer’s world.
Not unlike COMME des GARÇONS CdG sub-label, WILDSIDE is a kind of contemporary approach to the diffusion label of yore.
And they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.