Yohji Yamamoto

HONG KONG — “Let me say, I think I’m a good dressmaker, but I’m not a very good talker,” said Yohji Yamomoto.

The Japanese designer was in Hong Kong at the Design for Asia gala dinner Friday night to accept a lifetime achievement award. Dressed in all black, he tipped his signature hat onstage as he collected the accolade, given to a figure who has demonstrated “visionary shaping designs across a variety of fields, and who uses design to educate and promote wider use of design in society.”

Although the 74-year-old designer has been a celebrated figure for many years — best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring — he shared that the night held extra special meaning for him.

“In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this. Please let me become your family,” he said.

In 2011, Yamamoto received the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, the highest honor in arts and culture in France, where he has shown his collections since 1981.

The night also honored hotelier Adrian Zecha, the founder of the Aman resorts and a new affordable luxury hotel concept, called Azerai for design leadership, and gave out scholarships to 17 young design practitioners of up to 500,000 Hong Kong dollars, or $640,000.

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