Rei has indeed modernized, but I wonder to what cost. The name 'Comme des Garçons' means so many things to so many different people. To your average person on the street they know it through Play or fragrances - your rappers and celebrities wear Play and all anyone ever remembers is a heart logo. It has become the logo of CdG for many people. The fragrances have a life of their own within fragrance communities and the idea of it being a 'niche' line propels the mystique around it. But then you go see all the thousands of collaborations CdG undertake - from The SImpsons, to Speedo, to the Beatles, to H&M (even though Rei admits this was a mistake). So many collabs and selling the Comme des Garçons name. Yes the products are still notable CdG, but I do wonder as to what extent. Thankfully the house is rebellious to the end though, so the mainline still caters to the Rei fans, but in a way the all the stuff on the side I usually ignore seems to be the price of that freedom.
Yohji sticks to his guns, and that is what makes his work so attractive to me. People will gravitate towards him because they see something that speaks to them. Whether old or young, short or tall, fat or thin, Yohji has some of the most diverse fan bases out there. Admittedly this is also the case with Comme, and like them Yohji also is not exactly adverse to collaborations, but his stubbornness (and I don't mean that in a bad way) to do things according to his philosophy shows that he stands for something. Too many designers seem to lose their identities to market pressures, their work being dictated by the flow of fashion, and their very personalities being neatly packaged and sold. I hope he does carry on rocking out to his own tune. The people will still come.
(I tried posting a fit earlier but apparently it is 'awaiting moderation'...hopefully it posts some time soon, otherwise I'll put it up again tomorrow).