Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garçons had always been an inspiration to us, so it seemed only appropriate that with this issue Rei become our very first guest editor
To strike up our “dialogue" with her, we conceived the issue as a “visual interview."
From the beginning, she expressed a desire to see really strong fashion photography. Rei opened up her archives and chose her favorite pieces for select photographers to reinterpret. It was exciting for us to see what a young photographer like Mario Sorrenti, then twenty-six, would do with fashion that dated as far back as 1982 (at which time he was only eleven years old). Philip-Lorca diCorcia, contributing for the first time, took a Comme des Garçons dress to the bustling streets of Hong Kong. At Rei’s request, Nick Knight mixed Comme des Garçons with Alexander McQueen and created what turned out to be one of the most reproduced Visionaire images ever. The issue, by a stroke of good luck, coincided with the designer’s notorious “bump" collection that season. A real dress pattern, printed on muslin, came packaged in the issue. It was an immense success, selling out all 2,800 copies quicker than we had ever imagined.