Black Label

Comme des Garcons Noir Kei Ninomiya

noir kei ninomiya. Photo by Wataru Shimosato.

The newest addition to the Comme des Garçons family, noir kei ninomiya, started out small in 2012, just a handful of all-black pieces. Having proven its mettle, for Fall 2015 it graduates to being full-fledged collection. The clothes are bold, intricate, and often incorporate heavy metal hardware in lieu of stitching. The designer himself is harder to pin down. “I don’t have any inspiration,” Ninomiya says, in the elusive fashion that is typical of the CDG brand. Does he have a favorite actress he’d like to wear his clothes? “No, I don’t think about that,” he adds with a laugh. And when did he start designing? “Uh, two years ago—I’m kidding!”

In all seriousness, Ninomiya had a curious start as a French Literature student before becoming inspired by Rei Kawakubo to start designing. He joined the company in 2008 and was soon given his own line within the brand, which has been slowly growing ever since. “He was showing in Japan and in a couple of shops,” explains CDG’s Adrian Joffe of the line’s gradual evolution. “Then when I saw the last line in October, I just felt the potential that other people would love it outside Japan so we brought him to Paris.” So what’s next for Ninomiya? “I just have to keep working,” he says, point blank. “I have to think about next season—it’s step by step.”