PARIS — It was to be a short but sweet adventure for Tao Comme des Garçons.

This story first appeared in the January 19, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Tao Kurihara, the Japanese designer behind the whimsical label, said Tuesday that she will stop creating the brand, just six years after first showing her creations.

“Tao wants to have a change of lifestyle and prefers to concentrate her creative energies on the ever-popular label Tricot Comme des Garçons, shown in Tokyo twice a year,” Comme des Garçons stated.

Adrian Joffe, chief executive officer of Comme des Garçons International, was not available to comment on the news.

Kurihara’s spring ready-to-wear collection, which showed in Paris in October and is currently arriving in stores, is her last.

Tao Comme des Garçons is sold in some 50 specialty stores worldwide, including Comme des Garçons boutiques. U.S. stockists include Barneys New York, If SoHo in New York City and Ikram in Chicago.

A spokesman for Parisian concept store Colette, one of the brand’s retailers, said creative director and buyer Sarah Lerfel was “speechless” when she heard the news, but did not wish to comment further.

Kurihara, a graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, was designer Junya Watanabe’s assistant for seven years before launching her own label. Watanabe had received similar protégé treatment from Comme des Garçons’ founder and designer Rei Kawakubo several years earlier and still creates his own collections for the avant-garde firm.

Kurihara is lauded for creating designs that combine pretty, feminine aspects with Japanese intensity.

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