Comme des Garçons Homme began in 1978 as a menswear focused extension of Rei Kawakubo’s now legendary label. Guided by the tagline “Good Sense Good Quality,” Homme served as a space to explore the hallmarks of men’s tailoring and workwear, resulting in a relatively tame offering in comparison to the destabilizing, boundary pushing nature of her main collection. Kawakubo served as its head designer until she appointed longtime collaborator Junya Watanabe to the position in 2004, whose grounded and function-first approach to design befits the label perfectly.

While rooted in the distinctive Comme des Garçons sensibility, the Homme line is perhaps the most subtle and inward looking offering under the company’s umbrella. It carries the baton of challenging notions of what a garment can be, but does so by integrating practical features present in different forms of tailoring, dress codes and categories of clothing. Near imperceptible details collapse the divide between casual and formal, creating clothes that subvert the setting they were initially intended for, while never feeling out of place. They reflect the needs of a consumer less bound by the conventions that traditional tailoring was born out of, but enjoy few options that cut across that plane. Watanabe is a disciple of menswear. He has a keen understanding of what people are drawn to, and his clothes have a way of meeting people where they’re at, wherever that may be.