Founder: Rei Kawakubo
Year Founded: 1969

Japanese label Comme des Garçons began in 1969 as a womenswear line, but it expanded to include men's clothing in the late '70s. The company's founder and head designer, the reclusive and highly secretive Rei Kawakubo, is famous for her creative, avant garde approach to fashion and clever deconstructions of tailoring. In the '80s, she was known for her all-black, "anti-fashion" collections, but has since come to embrace bolder, more colorful designs. Tailored glen plaid jackets with silk ties sewn onto the fronts, for example, demonstrate her more artistic view of menswear. She's also known to have financially launched Junya Watanabe's label, who used to work for her as a pattern maker, along with her support of current favorite Gosha Rubchinskiy.