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 debuted in Paris in 1981.
His commercially successful main line, Yohji Yamamoto (women/men) and Y's, are especially popular in Tokyo. These two lines are also available at his flagship stores in Paris and Antwerp, and at high-end department stores worldwide. Other principal lines include Pour Homme, Costume d'Homme, and the diffusion line Coming Soon.
* 1972 Y's joint stock corporation founded.
* 1977 Tokyo collection debut.
* 1981 Pret a porter collection debut in Paris. Yohji Yamamoto line started at the same time.
* 1984 Yohji Yamamoto joint stock corporation founded.
* 1996 Designed alongside Red or Dead founders Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway MBE
* 1995 Designs costumes for the Heiner Müller-directed/Daniel Barenboim-conducted production of Wagner's complex opera, Tristan & Isolde.
* 2002 Haute couture collection presented in Paris. Relationship formed with exclusive Parisian boutiques.
* 2003 Opening of the Y's line flagship store in Roppongi Hills.
* 2003 Y-3 line and collection debut.
* 2003 Designs costumes for Elton John's The Red Piano show in Las Vegas.
* 2014 Designs third kits for the football club Real Madrid.
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