In May, Comme des Garçons will be the subject of “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s spring 2017 exhibition—only the second such show to honor a living designer, the other recipient being Yves Saint Laurent in 1983. Kawakubo is undeniably influential, a cult figure in the industry, but her designs are far from Saint Laurent’s easy trenches and sexy smokings.

In a rare interview, the designer discusses her work and the upcoming exhibition: here.