Comme des Garçons
This avant-garde Japanese fashion house gave Paris a run for its money when Rei Kawakubo brought the label to the fashion capital of the world in 1981. Established in 1969, Comme des Garçons (like boys) was light years ahead of what was happening in fashion at the time and has since become a global phenomenon that is worth $180 million. Menswear was introduced in 1978 and the label continued to expand. The popular Play, Black and SHIRT division of Comme des Garçons are just some of the many lines to have been produced. Not only did Kawakubo create forward thinking and groundbreaking designs, but also produced a protégé along the way, Junya Watanabe, who produced his own designs under the Japanese label in 1992 and 2001. Kawakubo reached out to the masses through the collaboration with retailer H&M to produce a capsule collection in fall 2008.