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Rei Kawakubo won Compasso d’Oro award

Joining her, among others, is Italian designer Pietro Lissoni

Rei Kawakubo won Compasso d’Oro award Joining her, among others, is Italian designer Pietro Lissoni

Rei Kawakubo, the visionary founder of Comme des Garçons, has been honored with the prestigious Compasso d’Oro, one of the highest recognitions in the design world. This Italian industrial design award, established by Gio Ponti 70 years ago, recognizes outstanding contributions to design in various fields. Kawakubo, known for her groundbreaking work in fashion, joins a distinguished list of laureates including architect Piero Lissoni and MoMA curator Paola Antonelli. The lifetime achievement awards were a significant part of this year's ceremony, held at the ADI Compasso d’Oro Design Museum in Milan. Among the honorees were international luminaries such as Japanese architect Tadao Ando, Sicilian vineyard and estate owner Francesca Planeta, and president of the furniture company Mdf Italia, Umberto Cassina. These figures have significantly influenced the design landscape, pushing the boundaries of their respective fields.


The organizers of the Compasso d’Oro praised Kawakubo for challenging Western clothing conventions, contributing to the integration of design in an industry traditionally tied to style. Kawakubo's career, characterized by innovation and the rejection of conventional norms, has made her a central figure in contemporary design for the impact she has had on design principles beyond fashion. In the 1980s, Kawakubo ventured into furniture creation, and in 2017, 15 pieces of her furniture were exhibited by expert Didier Jean Anicet Courbot at the Parisian gallery A1043, and later in Brussels during the Collectible fair. This exploration into furniture design underscores her versatility and relentless pursuit of creative expression. The Compasso d’Oro ceremony not only honored individual achievements but also highlighted the ever-evolving nature of design. As the design world continues to expand and intersect with various industries, figures like Rei Kawakubo and the other laureates exemplify the spirit of innovation and excellence that the Compasso d’Oro aims to celebrate.