Born in Tokyo in 1943, Yohji Yamamoto graduated from Keio University with a degree in law in 1966. His further studies in fashion design at Bunka Fashion College led to a degree in 1969. In 1972, Yamamoto founded Y’s and presented his first runway collection at Tokyo Fashion Week in 1977.
Yamamoto became an influential fashion designer after making his Paris debut in 1981. His commercially successful main lines, Yohji Yamamoto and Y's, are especially popular in Tokyo. Yamamoto is known for an avant-garde spirit in his clothing, frequently creating designs far removed from current trends. His signature oversized silhouettes in black often feature drapery in varying textures.

The Y’s collection for women reflected typical men's garments, as the clothes were cut in uncluttered shapes with washed fabrics and dark colors. Today, Y's and Y's for men have taken their place as practical, day-to-day wear beyond the bounds of fashion and shifting trends.