In 1971, Kansai opened his own company, Yamamoto Kansai Company, Ltd., Tokyo. His first collection debuted in London in 1971 and in the USA at Hess's Department Store in Pennsylvania, which was renowned for many avant-garde collections. His 1975 debut in Paris was followed by the opening of his Kansai Boutique in 1977. In 1999, he and Junk Koshino renewed the kimono, reviving interest in this classical fashion. He is also known for his avant-garde kimono designs, including ones worn by David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust Tour.