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Kei Ninomiya

Designer, Noir Kei Ninomiya

Rei Kawabuko’s latest protégé is one of Paris’ most exciting emerging designers.


The emerging designer has adopted the signature style of Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo , his mentor, yet continues to formulate his own aesthetic through experimenting with garments, creating elegant pieces in an avant-garde style. He showed his first collection during Paris Fashion Week and collaborated with Moncler for the Moncler Genius project.

Kei Ninomiya studied French literature at Aoyama University in Tokyo and then began his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Over a summer break, he applied for a job at Comme des Garçons and secured a place for himself as a pattern-maker for Rei Kawakubo. Ninomiya dropped out of school for the job and after just four years, Kawakubo suggested that the clothes Ninomiya was creating for Comme des Garçons should be shown under his own name and Noir Kei Ninomiya was born. The brand is stocked at the likes of Net-A-Porter, Ssense and Farfetch.

Nonimiya finds inspiration in craftsmanship and garments, experimenting with unconventional pattern-cutting and assembly techniques. The designer avoids sewing whenever possible, and one of his signature construction methods is putting garments together by linking various laser cut pieces. Nonimiya’s starting point is the textile and handcraftsmanship is at the core of the brand.  

“Ninomiya's specialty is the way he deals with repetition, creating challenging structures by obsessively multiplying small modules. His crafty aesthetic is a mix of delicate and punk,” said BoF contributor Angelo Flaccavento of Ninomiya’s debut Autumn/Winter 2018 show (the designer previously staged private presentations).

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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.