Rei Kawakubo just opened a store in China, the I.T. Beijing Market, in partnership with her Hong Kong–based retail partner, I.T Limited. The 20,000-square-foot store includes polka-dotted columns and a life-size elephant sculpture and offers multiple Comme des Garçons lines along with things by labels like Maison Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Dior Homme, Ann Demeulemeester, and Hussein Chalayan. That’s right — no young designers here. Kawakubo — who says her “motivation has always been to create something new, something that didn’t exist before” — said she is interested in only “very few” young designers and thinks that most of them aren’t that good.
There are few people who, like us, have the values and the way of thinking to really try hard. They lack discipline. And it’s not just fashion, I think [young people] get satisfied too easily. They’re not strict enough with themselves. They’re too soft on themselves.