An enduring legacy

The Japanese fashion industry was shaken by the passing of legendary designer Kansai Yamamoto on July 21, who succumbed to a drawn-out battle with acute myeloid leukemia. Cheerful to the end, at 76 years old his relentless energy and towering charisma was summed up by his motto, “human energy is limitless.”

It was gratifying to see international media and social media channels around the world pay respects to the designer, since he resolutely avoided watering down his work in exchange for commercial success. It was critical acclaim for his bombastic “super-show” runways, and his status as the first Japanese designer to hold a show as part of London Fashion Week, that cemented his status in the industry. His iconic outfits for David Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, captured the imagination of the general public, even if they never knew his name.