Yamamoto has won notable awards for his contributions to fashion, including the Chevalier of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon, the Ordre national du Mérite, the Royal Designer for Industry and the Master of Design award by Fashion Group International
Born in Tokyo, Yamamoto graduated from Keio University with a degree in law in 1966. He gave up a prospective legal career to assist his mother in her dressmaking business, from where he learned his tailoring skills. He further studied fashion design at Bunka Fashion College, getting a degree in 1969
Yamamoto is known for an avant-garde spirit in his clothing, frequently creating designs far removed from current trends. His signature oversized silhouettes often feature drapery in varying textures. Yohji' collections are predominately made in black, a colour which Yamamoto has described as “modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy - but mysterious. But above all black says this: "I don’t bother you - don’t bother me Yamamoto's work has also become familiar to consumers through his collaborations with other fashion brands, including Adidas (Y-3), Hermès, Mikimoto and Mandarina Duck; and with artists of different genres, such as Tina Turner, Sir Elton John, Placebo, Takeshi Kitano, Pina Bausch and Heiner Müller.
Poor decisions by finance managers pushed the brand into debts of more than 65 million US dollars in 2009, which angered Yamamoto and led to a company restructuring from 2009 to 2010. The private equity firm Integral Corp was identified as the Japanese company who will restructure the Yohji Yamamoto Inc and by November 2010 the company was out of debt and avoiding the risk of bankruptcy.
Yohji has expressed a deep love for designing clothing, going so far as to say he 'cannot imagine retired'.In 2008, the Yohji Yamamoto Fund for Peace was established to foster development of China's fashion industry and to help heal the long-standing enmity between China and Japan. Each year, an emerging Chinese designer will be awarded with a two-year scholarship to a fashion college in Japan or Europe, and a male or female Chinese fashion model will be selected to make a runway debut during the Paris prêt-à-porter season.
Yamamoto has been quoted as saying: "they must have so many angry young people. Being a fashion designer or an artist, you have to be angry." Of the fashion show he staged in Beijing in spring 2008 to launch this initiative, Yamamoto said, "It's not political. I am going to open a store here, then Chinese people will come and shop there, and then they are happy. The real art is making people happy, but also asking questions about society.Wikipedia