Junya Watanabe is a Japanese fashion designer, originally the protégé of Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo. Born in Fukushima, Japan in 1961, he went on to attend Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, graduating in 1984. After graduating, Watanabe began an apprenticeship at Comme des Garçons as a patternmaker. In 1992, Watanabe began working under his own name as part of the Comme des Garçons house. Watanabe, like his mentor Rei Kawakubo, is renowned for designing innovative and distinctive clothing. He is particularly interested in synthetic and technologically advanced textiles and fabrics but also uses more traditional materials. Watanabe is often considered to be a ‘techno couture’ designer, creating unusually structured clothes out of modern, technical materials.