Junya Watanabe
Founder and Designer of Eponymous Label
Kurita KAKU/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

2020 Hypes Score


It may not seem like it, but the design influence of Junya Watanabe is as strong as ever. The 59-year old Japanese creative continues to inspire a new crop of avant-garde garment makers but even Watanabe’s expansive aesthetic is experiencing its own slow but calculated evolution. For women’s, his FW20 collection explored rebellious femininity with a ‘70s glam rock inspired theme. His Debbie Harry-esque models donned asymmetrical leather skirts and dresses accented by straps, metal rings, harnesses and animal prints. Watanabe’s supreme tailoring was as impressive as ever but it was the sexiness mixed with edge aesthetic that brought everything full circle.

For Watanabe’s men’s designs, the designer continued his signature workwear-meets-tailored look for FW20. Tweed blazers constructed with nylon panels, patchworked denim, double-breasted jackets and modified Carhartt pieces were clear standouts. The range was a master class in advanced tailoring and multi-fabric construction as evidenced by the pristine seams, cohesive patterns and color combinations.

Elsewhere, Junya Watanabe started off the year with some choice collabs — one with preppy brand Brooks Brothers and the other with Canadian sweats label Reigning Champ. There were a number of collaborative New Balance sneakers as well and the COMP100, 670, ML570, 379s and 574s were the models of choice in an array of distinct colorways.