Comme Des Garçons: The Iconic Fashion Brand Known for Its Avant-Garde Print Ad Campaigns

Comme Des Garçons: The Iconic Fashion Brand Known for Its Avant-Garde Print Ad Campaigns

Fashion brand Comme Des Garçons founded by Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo in 1969. 

Since its Paris debut in 1981, Comme Des Garçons has consistently challenged the status quo in both mens- and womenswear with its radical use of references, proportion, and technique. This avant-garde approach has helped the brand thrive over the past three decades, as it has been able to adapt to changing trends while staying true to its design identity.

Photography by Peter Lindberg

One aspect of the brand's success is its eccentric print advertisements, which have sometimes been perceived as careless but have played a significant role in establishing Comme Des Garçons' reputation as a boundary-pushing and innovative brand. According to Alice Rawsthorn, "the only consistent thing about them is their inconsistency. Yet collectively they build a compelling portrait of the brand as well as of its creators and the people who will wear the clothes."

One of the brand's most iconic advertisements is the one made for the AW88 collection, which featured a photograph by Jim Britt of his two daughters laughing. This unconventional choice demonstrates the outside-the-box approach that Comme Des Garçons' head designer and CEO, Rei Kawakubo, takes towards the company's advertising.

In an interview with Suzy Menkes, Kawakubo stated, "it's true to say that I 'design' the company, not just the clothes. Creation does not end with the clothes. New interesting business ideas, revolutionary retail strategies, unexpected collaborations, advertisements, and nurturing of in-house talent, all are examples of Comme Des Garçons creation."

In addition to its contemporary campaigns, Comme Des Garçons has also gained a reputation for its archive and vintage collections. These collections showcase the brand's rich history and highlight its enduring influence on the fashion industry. Overall, Comme Des Garçons' print campaigns, both contemporary and vintage, have played a major role in establishing the brand's reputation and have contributed to its success as a leading name in the fashion industry.