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Y-3 is an innovative and highly influential collaboration between the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto and the German sportswear giant adidas. Created in 2003, the label gets its name from the designer's initials and the number of iconic stripes on the adidas logo. Before breaking into the world of fashion, Yohji Yamamoto first enrolled in Keio University to study law. After graduating, he renounced this direction and instead helped his mother in her dressmaking business. Encouraged by his mother, he went to Bunka Fashion College, a renowned school in Tokyo, counting Kenzo Takada and Junya Watanabe among its former students. In 1971 he founded his eponymous fashion house, making its debut during Paris and New York Fashion Week. He diversified his projects, such as creating opera costumes between 1990 and 1994, and has received many accolades throughout his career, including an Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a French National Order of Merit, and the Master of Design award.
Admired for his precision and avant-garde style, Yohji Yamamoto took on a new challenge after noticing that New York businessmen wore sneakers with their suits. This hybrid combination fascinated him and led him to approach adidas to integrate trainers into his Autumn-Winter 2001 collection. Three years later, Y-3 was born. "Together with adidas, we created something that did not exist before, totally futuristic. My aspiration was, and is, to make sportswear elegant and chic. adidas is a very personal inspiration to me... it has enriched my creative life," says Yamamoto. The Y-3 collections offer a style, both modern and luxurious. Popularised by its iconic sneaker models: Boxing, Sala, Honya Low and Kozoko, the label quickly expanded to ready-to-wear pieces, with t-shirts, trousers, sweatshirts and shorts made of high-tech materials displaying an activewear graphic style. David Beckham, Tom Hardy, Diddy and Zinedine Zidane are all ambassadors and hardcore fans of the coolest creative collaboration of the moment.
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