Ever since she founded Comme des Garçons in 1973 a few years after she began using the label unofficially Rei Kawakubo has been pushing fashion forward. The Japanese designer, who is rarely photographed or interviewed, is known for avant-garde looks and a heavy use of black. Her creative sense is often discussed as a cerebral one, but she has said that the truth is the opposite, that she designs with her heart rather than her brain. Nonetheless, she continues to put her mind to the future of fashion. She has given three designers free rein to start their own labels under her aegis, she launched a commercially successful line with H&M, she runs the high-end Dover Street Market store all in the name of doing something new.