Rei Kawakubo and CEO husband Adrian Joffe at Paris Fashion Week in early 2017
Credit: Getty Images

Much has been said of “designers’ designer” Comme des Garcon founder Rei Kawakubo this week, but little is actually known about her private life.

(It’s no accident that there’s not one smiling snap of the famously shy 74-year-old amongst the literally thousands of beaming celebrity red carpet photos circulating following the 2017 Met Gala held in her honour. And yes, she and her Comme des Garçon/Dover Street Market CEO husband Adrian Joffe both travelled to New York to be there.)

See the best dressed celebrities on the 2017 Met Gala red carpet here.

Quite the opposite of all other guests, the trainer-clad designer kept her head down as she raced up the Met Gala steps
Credit: Getty Images

Once the din of the crowds died down, the bathroom selfies and sneaky cigg-smoke sessions a distant outline in the millennial guests’ minds, Kawakubo did what any sensible woman of means would while in the Big Apple (if you ask us): she shopped.


Of course, as founders of the epic-cool Dover Street Market (London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing) multi-brand chain the couple knows a thing or two about the ins and outs of fashion retail. But her bee-line on Tuesday was for a low-key second-hand clothing boutique just a few blocks away from her Manhattan Dover HQ, called Vintage India NYC.

Vintage India on Lexington Avenue in New York’s central shopping district
Credit: courtesy Vintage India

The Lexington Avenue outlet is packed with brightly-coloured traditional Indian clothes, accessories and jewellery. Like any vintage store, every rail, surface, nook and cranny is crammed with sift-worthy pieces.

According to a well-placed source (namely, the discreet shop assistant who served her and later told the story to fashion industry news server, WWD.com), Kawakubo bought two traditional embroidered men’s jackets while she was there. Perhaps we’ll be seeing a more eastern influence in her next winter collection for Comme des Garçons? 

see here for GRAZIA’s take on the best vintage stores in Australia.