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At my mother's shop, around the time I won the Soen Award. (Photo courtesy of Bunka Publishing Bureau)
Yohji Yamamoto

The worst humiliation of my life: Yohji Yamamoto (11)

Being left behind the epoch -- from haute couture to prêt-à-porter

Yohji Yamamoto | Japan

After graduating from Bunka Fashion College in March 1969, I decided to go to Paris, the center of mode, to study for about a year. Having received a round-trip ticket after winning the Soen Award and the Endo Award, it seemed like a good chance.

I found a cheap apartment near the Odeon Theatre in the Rive Gauche and took up lodging there on my own. It was a shabby room, equipped only with a bed and a water tap. At the time, it cost 360 yen to buy a dollar. The yen was weak, and I could afford almost nothing. I would eat sausage sandwiched in a baguette day after day to cut down on my food expenses.

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