The label was started in Tokyo by Rei Kawakubo in 1969 and established as a company in Japan in 1973. Comme des Garcons became successful in Japan in the 1970s; a men's line was added in 1978. The year 1981 saw Comme des Garcons's debut show in Paris. It created a splash for its predominant use of black and distressed fabrics. Throughout the 1980s, Comme des Garcons's clothes often had the destroyed look.