“Sharing the wonders of dressing up”

In 2020, the world has drastically changed with the impacts of COVID-19. Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many new types of fashion have been born. Has there ever been a time in history that people all over the world are wearing such a wide variety of masks? I was reminded that fashion and the history of mankind are always inseparable and interrelated. Fashion has always protected us both physically and mentally; it is something that will move forward with us together.

As a child I was introverted, not good at studying, and had many things I didn't like about myself. My interest in fashion grew because it was something that protected me. Along the way, I learned how to grow and express myself through fashion.

It is said that the fashion industry is now facing its worst crisis in the post war era. However, when you look back to dark times in history new creative fashion has been invented for the people and the environment. Fashion, which is sometimes created unexpectedly, is the continuation of experimentation in our daily lives and is something that we both depend on and love.

For creativity to be born, there needs to be an environment with lively energy and respect for all individuals. It is significant to continue learning, to have the flexibility to change, and to face creativity in unpredictable situations.

Through fashion, I want to make an innovative place for learning that will foster creativity that will contribute to society. I want to continue doing this through coconogacco, the school (gacco) that creates individuals (coco) who expand their range from here (coco) to the world. No matter what era it is, I want to share the wonders of dressing up.

Yoshikazu Yamagata (山縣良和)


###Tatsuru Uchida (内田 樹) Philosopher and Professor Emeritus of Kobe College I believe that Yamagata-san's teaching style is ideal as an educator. I've taught for 30 years now, but it is rare to meet a teacher like him who completely believes in the potential of the students so straightforwardly. Surpassing rare, I have never met someone like him. He truly understands that being highly evaluated by a successful and talented individual can encourage and set people free. His students’ international recognition and accomplishments are a testament to his dedication and extraordinary teaching style.

###Hirofumi Kurino (栗野 宏文) United Arrows Senior Adviser and Creative Advisor Individuals who will carry the future of Japanese fashion are trained at coconogacco. Fashion does not only include clothes and appearance, but also the way people feel, the way they think, and the communication with the world itself. In other words, learning fashion means learning what is important as a human being. I have been a judge of graduation shows at fashion schools such as Antwerp Academy in Belgium, Royal College of Art in London, and Polimoda in Florence. I have witnessed many debuts of new designers. I think that coconogacco is at a level that is comparative to these schools and it may even be pursuing deeper areas. From 'coco' (here) 'no' (of) 'gacco' (school), the school of here or now, outstanding talents are being grown into the future of our world.

###Masao Morita (森田 真生) Independent Scholar From my perspective, Yamagata-san’s life work concentrates on taking the chaos of the world towards life and creation rather than destruction and death. Contrary to its progressivity, his creations also have a certain primitiveness similar to the ancient mythical world. I look forward to the day when the students sprout out of coconogacco, the “kuragenasu tadayoeru konton” (uncongealed, transparent shape shifting jellyfish) like an “ashikiba” (reed). (In reference to “Kojiki”)

###Sarah Mower US Vogue Contributing Editor and Ambassador for Emerging Talent for the British Fashion Council In my job as a fashion journalist, I am always looking to discover young talent. It is even better, and more meaningful, when that talent comes in the form of a movement. Isolated designers are often very interesting, but they are hard to find, and it is often very difficult for them to operate alone, without support. So I was very excited when Hirofumi Kurino introduced me to Yoshi Yamagata and his school a year ago. I have been waiting and wondering why young Japanese designers have not been appearing, at least to western eyes, for such a long time. After Undercover and Sacai, it's hard to name any Japanese label we know about. Now, I am sure that Coconogacco is going to generate a whole new determination to act together, exchange ideas and speak to the world. The thinking amongst these students seems to me refreshing, emotionally honest and personal. I like the feeling that there both dreamy idealism and hard-core realistic work ethic behind it, and that the graduates want to say something through clothes, performance, and telling their stories. I hope we will hear very much more about that in Europe and America, and that Coconogacco will soon be in everyone's minds as the new movement which tells the world how young Japanese people are feeling.


2008Founding of coconogacco. The first class starts with 25 students.
2009Start of the Advanced Course
2010Takashi Nishiyama (西山高士) receives the Fashion Collector of the Year at a fashion competition, ITS and becomes the first nomination and winner from a Japanese school
2011Exhibition held at Tabroid's opening event
2011Establishment of the branch school COCOA in Fukuoka, Japan
2012Participation in the Trans Art Tokyo exhibition "coco-ten"
2012Selected as Japan representative of world's top fashion institutions by VOGUE Italia
2013Momoko Okusa (大草桃子) and Tomohiro Sato (佐藤友浩) nominated as Fashion Finalists at ITS 2013. Tomohiro also receives the Fashion Special Prize and Modateca Award
2013Exhibition held at Shibuya PARCO Museum
2013Fashion show held at the National Art Center, Tokyo
2014Receives the 32nd Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix Special Prize
2014Noriko Nakazato (中里周子) receives the Swarovski Jewelry Award at ITS 2014
2014Participation in International Fashion ShowCase during London Fashion Week
2015Higasi Nobuhiro (東伸宏) nominated for the Artwork Finalist, Hiroki Kataoka (片岡弘生) receives the ITS ARTWORK Award, and Yuko Koike (小池優子) receives the OTB Award and Modateca Deanna Award at ITS 2015
2016Masaki Shimizu (清水政紀) and Chinami Tokizawa (時澤知菜実) nominated as a Jewelry Finalist at ITS 2016
2016Yuko Koike (小池優子) and Soshi Otsuki (大月壮士) shortlisted for the LVMH PRIZE
2016Summer Course Collaboration Project with CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS
2016Establishment of co&co.Ltd.
2017Participation in the Tokyo Metropolitan Project TURN Fes. Exhibition held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art
2018Akiko Aoki (青木明子) nominated for the LVMH PRIZE
2018Seiran Tsuno (津野青嵐) nominated as a Fashion Finalist at ITS 2018
2018Akiko Aoki (青木明子) receives the 36th Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix Shiseido Special Award for the Best New Designer of the Year
201910th-anniversary event for coconogacco held at CPK GALLERY
2019Tetsuya Doi (土居哲也) receives the Honorable Mention from the 34th Hyères Festival
2019TOMOKOIZUMI collection announced at New York Fashion Week
2019Tomo Koizumi (小泉智貴) receives the 37th Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix Committee Special Prize
2019Yukika Saito (斎藤雪香), Hana Yagi (八木華), Yukako Hihara (日原佑花子), and Asumi Maeda (前田明日美) nominated at ITS 2019
2020Natsumi Osawa (大澤夏珠) nominated as an Artwork Finalist at ITS 2020
2020Kotoha Yokozawa (横澤琴葉) receives the 38th Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix Shiseido Special Award for the Best New Designer of the Year
2021coconogacco receives the 39th Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix Amiko Kujiraoka Award
2021Tomotaka Koizumi (小泉智貴) receives the 39th Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix Grand Prize


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