rei kawakubo will be the first designer to receive the isamu noguchi award
“I am not an artist, an architect or even a product designer. I have always only been looking to make something new, which didn’t exist before."
COMME des GARÇONS FW 19.
Each year, the Isamu Noguchi Award is given to individuals who share Noguchi’s spirit of innovation, global consciousness, and commitment to East/West cultural exchange. Though she’s the first fashion designer to receive the award, it’s no surprise that Rei Kawakubo, will be honored for her innovative designs for COMME des GARÇONS, just as the label celebrates its 50th anniversary. As seen through her collections and her concept store Dover Street Market, which she co-founded with Adrian Joffe, Kawakubo is continuously challenging the notion that design, art, and fashion exist in separate spaces.
“I am not an artist, an architect or even a product designer. I have always only been looking to make something new, which didn’t exist before, and make a business out of that. Looking to make new things, without compromise, is not that acceptable,” Kawakubo said. “I have to constantly fight against conservative opinion and authority. I remember Noguchi presented something for the Osaka World Fair in 1970, which was refused because it was ‘too new’. I know that feeling...not much has changed. I continue to fight, more and more.”
In 2017, the designer became one of only two living designers to have an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kawakubo will be honored at the Noguchi Museum this upcoming May.