Kansai Yamamoto, Designer Behind Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust Costumes, Passes On
By Thanussha Priyah, 30 Jul 2020
Image via Kansai Yamamoto Inc. / PR TIMES
Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto has passed away from acute myeloid leukemia at 76 years old. However, his team will be proceeding with its first online streaming event, the Nippon Genki Project, this week.
Yamamoto described the concept of ‘Genki’—a word without a direct translation to English that roughly means high vigor—to refer to “cheer” and “energy,” which he had often reflected on months before his death. “I was deeply shocked by hearing the diagnosis, but the first thing I started to do was to prepare a very colorful pajama to stay cheerful and happy at the hospital,” Yamamoto wrote in an Instagram post.
The designer broke through boundaries from the East and became the first Japanese designer to showcase at London Fashion Week in 1971, the same year the late David Bowie started to wear Yamamoto’s womenswear.
Bowie worked with Yamamoto to develop his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, and wore the designer’s pieces during the musical era. He told The Cut in 2018 that he would design Bowie’s pieces as if he were designing for a female. He also shared that he found Bowie’s “aesthetic and interest in transcending gender boundaries shockingly beautiful.”
View this post on Instagram
English follows Japanese. 山本寛斎に関するご報告 かねてより病気療養中でありました山本寛斎が、急性骨髄性白血病のため、2020年7月21日に享年76歳にて永眠いたしました。 闘病中も、皆様にもう一度「元気」な山本寛斎の姿をお見せしたいという本人の強い意志のもと、前向きに治療に励む傍ら、クリエーションに対する熱い思いをスタッフに語っておりました。 『人間は、無尽蔵のエネルギーを持っている。』どんなに苦しい時であっても、その気持ちを忘れずに、果敢に挑戦し続けました。 長きにわたり、山本寛斎を応援して下さった皆様に、心より感謝を申し上げますとともに、謹んでお知らせいたします。 なお、7月31日に配信のオンラインイベント「日本元気プロジェクト2020 スーパーエネルギー‼」につきましては、予定通り開催いたします。 ともに当日を迎えることが出来なかったことはスタッフ一同、大変心残りではございますが、山本寛斎の思いがこもった作品を皆様にお届けしたいと思っております。 ----------------------- It is with immense sadness that we announce that Kansai Yamamoto has passed away on 21 July, 2020 due to acute myeloid leukemia. He was 76 years old. As he fought his illness, he remained always positive, never lost his passion towards creation, and was strongly determined to recover and come back with fully-charged energy to see you again. “Human energy is limitless” was his motto he would never let go, and he bravely kept challenging no matter hard the situation. We sincerely would like to thank you all for supporting Kansai for so many years. “Nippon Genki Project 2020 Super Energy”, our first online streaming event planned on 31 July will be conducted as scheduled. We deeply regret that Kansai cannot join us on the day, but we would like to deliver his passion and dream in the best way possible. To all persons concerned, we apologise for any inconvenience caused by the sudden situation and ask for your kind understanding. Again, we would like to convey our sincere thanks for your warm support. Your thoughts and sympathies to the family and those who were close to him would be appreciated.
A post shared by Kansai Yamamoto (@kansai_yamamoto_official) on
David Bowie's iconic fashion outfits designed by Kansai Yamamoto a thread pic.twitter.com/NUSYaeaJ8s— 𝘷𝘪𝘷𝘪 ۞ (@strngbowie) July 27, 2020
RIP Kansai Yamamoto - It is with much sorrow that we report the death of Japanese designer, @kansai_yamamoto, who passed away on 21st July, aged 76. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his family and those close to him at this sad time. #BowieKansai pic.twitter.com/6HUnBkOW7w— David Bowie Official (@DavidBowieReal) July 27, 2020
Kansai Yamamoto the iconic Japanese designer, who showed in Europe before Yohji Yamamoto & Rei Kawakubo, has passed away. His work was exaggerated, played on traditional Japanese silhouettes and art, and was worn by the likes of David Bowie. pic.twitter.com/sV0Cv7OZbN— hautelemode (@hautelemess) July 27, 2020
Kansai Yamamoto was an iconic fashion designer that designed some of David Bowie's legendary outfits back in the 70s. RIP he will be deeply missed. pic.twitter.com/BqqLz34j8U— 𝘷𝘪𝘷𝘪 ۞ (@strngbowie) July 27, 2020
Kansai Yamamoto gave us designs that were far ahead of their time and remain iconic to this day. Rip to another legend pic.twitter.com/659XXIkge6— lil vero (@artofficialx) July 29, 2020
[via The W Magazine, cover image via Kansai Yamamoto Inc. / PR TIMES
More related news