Kenzo © Copyright 2020
KENZO. And the mind travels. At the start, the heart of an impulse, the first journey. A young Japanese man wants to discover France, a country with the promise of all possibilities. He embarks on a boat travelling for several weeks. He knows nothing more of Paris than the dream: a city that is the noble territory of Haute Couture.
He does not speak French, but he knows the language of colours. He combines Asian poetry with the rigour of European cuts. He understands the dialect of nature and the vocabulary of flowers. He leans upon the cultures of the world with a smile… This is the journey of Kenzo Takada. This is the spirit of the House of KENZO.
A journey through style, and a continued passageway between two designers. Two personalities blend and their common points shape a wardrobe of convergence. United in culture, their dialogue takes root in Paris, the fantasy capital of fashion. Emotional reference points converse and come together.
Summer memories of Felipe Oliveira Baptista’s childhood in the Azores. A photo album of his newlywed parents in Mozambique, on the threshold of skydiving. A surge of love from a moment in time. Imbued with evocations from a dream of Japan. The feeling of islands… Their journeys intertwine. Between intimacy and universalism.
The first Fall-Winter 2020 Collection by Felipe Oliveira Baptista for the House of KENZO.
The nomadic spirit of these wanderers of the world, sheltered by their clothes. A mobile wardrobe that heralds urban elegance and metamorphosis, transforming itself with fluency. Reversible coats that go from monochrome to printed.
Parkas that spread out like wings. Down jackets that become sleeping bags. Dresses as light as cocoons that expand with their armature of zippers. Flowing alongside each step, they follow in fluid pace, as if animated by a movement of their own. The colours come from nature, at times illuminated by camouflage prints that are in fact a trompe-l’oeil of roses.
This organic palette composes a unique painting at each glance, like colours as passers-by, or a garment that transforms into a canvas of a giant tiger head. These are “painting-dresses”, taken from the works of neo-realist artist Júlio Pomar (1926-2018). A Lisbon painter who lived in Paris for a long time and considered one of the greatest figures of Portuguese XXth century art.
In the 1980s, fascinated by tigers, Júlio Pomar created a major series of works on this feline. The amplitude of cuts, moving close and away from the body, attests to the dynamism of this wardrobe and its slender silhouette. The superimposition of materials adds to its energy. The House of KENZO, through this initial collection, celebrates the wanderers of life.
The transparent tubular structure that makes up the set of the show is designed as a modular nomadic object. It will be re-used in other forms at events in the coming seasons, such as pop-up stores or presentations. KENZO is committed to recycling the set, which can be transformed into new objects.
Thu, March 5 2020 » Fashion Blog
For our ultimate collection for KENZO, the Spring-Summer 2020 collection, we looked to the home of our founder Kenzo Takada, and more specifically to the surrounding seas of Japan where groups of strong, tenacious and modern-day super-heroes plunge daily
to retrieve treasures at the bottom of the ocean.
The Ama are groups of Japanese female free divers, who, for over 2000 years have dived to the ocean floor to forage for seafood such as shrimp, urchins or even pearls for their communities. They train from their beginnings as teenagers, taught by their predecessors who can dive well into their 70s.
Due to breath training, Ama can stay underwater for significant amounts of time in one go. Over time their numbers have declined, and these intrepid fisherwomen can now only be found sporadically in pockets along the Japanese coastlines. Withstanding harsh and sometimes freezing temperatures, they have become known as the last mermaids.
Our collections are a tapestry of elements combining traditionally marine associated garments with modern and technical diving gear. For women, neoprene suiting in orange, violet and black are juxtaposed against crushed wet-look jersey tops and dresses. Skirts in mermaid jacquard linens are adorned with pearl buttons while nylon tops in vivid colors of corals have sleeves rolled up to the shoulder.
Transparent suiting complements the prints of shrimp, mermaids and sea lilies. High waisted trousers feature an assembly of embroideries, reminiscent of treasures amassed while diving. Woven ikats feature on either dresses, tops for women or as panelling on shirts and trousers for men. Tailoring in liquid viscose, sun-bleached denims and ikat prints also straddle both collections.
For menswear, hardy rubberised outerwear appears in orange and violet while Hawaïan shirts abound with prints of sea lilies or urchins. Solarised cotton sweaters in indigo or dark greys walk along side tailored jackets with shawl collars and rough edges. Jackets and coats in summer linens feature sailor collars and shorts are made of high frequency lazer-cut nylons. Suits are cropped and boxy and classic ‘K’ shirts feature net panels color blocked in lilac and orange. Net prints appear in dégradé pigments on printed cotton.
In our Fall-Winter 2019 collection for KENZO, we introduced a new bag, ‘The Tali’. We revisit the Tali for Spring-Summer 2020, updating it within the themes of the new collection and we introduce a new smaller version, The Mini Tali. Skins of viper snake resemble fish scales. Dégradés recall the approaching light seen from the bottom of the ocean floor.
Net straps and bumbags mirror the belt pouches used by the Ama to retrieve their rewards. Sunglasses are high performance and feature solarised lenses to protect. For women, traditional Japanese Okobo sandals in the sea-lily print walk alongside scuba sock sandals and a new unisex sneaker style, the scuba inspired K-Wave for men and women.
Carol Lim & Humberto Leon
Thu, June 27 2019 » Fashion Blog
At a time when the movement of peoples and the spread of cross-cultural dialogue marks our daily lives more than ever, our interest in telling personal stories at KENZO has never felt more appropriate. For the Fall-Winter 2019 collection, our focus turned to Humberto’s Chinese-Peruvian heritage – the Tusán people whose ancestors arrived from Guangdong province to settle in Peru in the 19th century. Today they number in the millions, and the diffusion of Asian traditions throughout South America is a palpable force.
This rich and colorful exchange of stories mixes with the contemporary realities of alpine life, as extreme conditions see both men and women layering bright, ethnic textiles with modern tactical garments. In our interpretation, the drama of the Andean colour palette (from Cusco to Machu Picchu) meets piles of fuzzy texture and a touch of Parisian sophistication. Couched in the Ayahuasca dreamscape show set by the artist Pablo Amaringo, this collection invokes discovery and exploration through mind, body, and spirit.
Within the women’s collection, hiking gear has an overt feminine twist, as swirling polar fleece comes tailored and swathes of waterproof nylon are given soft volume and drape. Inspired by the import of rice into Peru, knitwear and recycled raffia pieces feature custom KENZO calligraphy, and an archive ‘Earth’ print returns under the cover of clouds.
Pollera and pencil skirts receive the technical treatment, traced with drawstrings and paired with zipped mock-necks or patch-pocket blouses in tonal ensembles. Papery leather shines in roomy parka and anorak shapes, whilst shaggy jacquard faux-furs create wood print and blanket plaid effects. 5-pocket jean and cropped cargos are cut in winter wools or acid-washed denim.
Menswear takes the road less traveled, keeping in mind the military trappings of early explorers. Transformable all-weather outerwear pieces feature harness collars, reversible mesh linings, and detachable pocket gloves. A membrane coating gives pop tailoring extra bounce, as zip-up polar fleece returns in roomy quilted jogging pants (mimicked elsewhere by luxe striped shearling). Worn with plaid felt overcoats and checkered crew knits, straight canvas trousers zip-off in color-blocked panels. In the same way, a three-pocket bag zips out into backpack, tote, and fanny pack shapes.
Blinking from a resin bijoux ‘eye’ clasp, our new KENZO Tali double flap bag is unveiled for the season in a rainbow of colors and crafted in stamped lizard and faux croc leathers or oval ‘eye’ quilting. Held in the hand, on the shoulder, or worn cross-body, it comes printed with the season’s KENZO rice bag motifs and swings with sunglass cases or shaggy shoulder straps.
For men and women, footwear styles see town and country collide, with laced Inka trekking boots and mesh sneakers lifted on stacked soles. Women’s Lima kitten heels fuse faux fur under plastic, whilst squared boots lace up the calf with a scuba sock insert.
Carol Lim & Humberto Leon
Sat, February 2 2019 » Fashion Blog
Kenzo Women’s & Men’s collections for Fall/Winter 2017/18
A discovery of an arctic surfing subculture led us to a wardrobe that combines wild protection with an urban sensibility. Celebrating the women and men who experience as raw an environment as it gets, and hoping for it to continue forever.
Vivid colors appear throughout – winter blue and raincoat yellows. Prints include geo tiger patterns, checks and argyles, Hawaiian meets arctic surfer floral, glacier beach and degrade aurora borealis. Knits are intricate and robust. Northern folklores appear with ribbon on dresses and skirts.
Shearlings in orange are propped up against peplum parkas. Dresses feature x-ray layering. Ready-for-survival, shrunken ski gear. Coats auto-affixed to blazers and leather argyles.
The use of our backstage as the set for this show was a conscious decision to create dialogue with ideas for us and to contribute financially to their cause. In addition, for Fall 2017 we have partnered with earth guardians to create products that will further push their message.
Carol Lim & Humberto Leon
Sun, February 26 2017 » Fashion Blog
Mon, October 31 2016 » Fashion Blog
In 1977, Kenzo Takada showed at legendary club, ‘Studio 54′. Grace Jones performed, Jerry Hall walked. For this collection we want to celebrate the euphoria of an assembly of cultures. A space filled to the brim with individuals whose style speaks volumes. Women who wear distinctiveness as an expression of freedom.
An invitation to work with the archives of renowned artist Antonio Lopez was the starting point for this collection. Antonio’s work documents an iconic time in paris, of which Kenzo was an integral part. It felt relevant and exciting to pay homage to that, and re-interpret it for the Kenzo woman today. A woman like donna jordan or pat cleveland, both strong, beautiful and unparalleled. Grid-like photo formations, collages and sketches of polaroids once loaned but never returned. These images are transposed onto varying garments, offering a new lease of life to such beautiful imagery.
Ponchos, parkas and military raincoats are reimagined as light, voluminous dresses and blouses, in technical taffetas with metal snaps or drawstrings. Shiny fabrics – nylons, sequins, lamés are juxtaposed against cotton drills, raw denims or military cottons. Broken camouflage exists alongside classic motifs. Soft pinks are played against bright reds or cherry. Pink and blue lamés wax lyrical to disco anthems. Trousers and skirts are high waisted and with volume. Shoulders are softly rounded.
Accessories are worn as jewelry. Clutches become cross body’s through adjustable straps. Glittered and chainmail bags come as shoppers, harnesses or bum bags. Chainmail bandanas accentuate the neckline. Oversized crystal and sequined earrings reflect the light. Stiletto sandals walk with coiled heels.
Carol Lim & Humberto Leon
Sat, October 29 2016 » Fashion Blog
From a very young age, we have been intrigued by the notion of a voyage, of traveling and the exploration of the deserted. When creating this collection for summer 2016, we think of the man who makes these roving forays across uncharted lands. We imagine his strong, experienced, utilitarian and purposeful silhouette.
We consider his eracticality and resourcefulness. The silhouette is boxy, easy and loose. Breathable fabrics make for more comfortable movement. “pull” tags on classic garments exaggerate their functionality and transform shapes and lengths. Fabrics resemble tent or parachute materials that have been repurposed.
Leather mesh outerwear let winds pass. Ultra light fabrics of paper-like nylons, waterproof or crinkled cottons are worn with more heavy cotton nattes, spongey Wool/nylons or bonded jersey. The color palette camouflages the wearer into his surroundings.
Beige, sunbleached yellow and stone are matched with tobaccos and anthracites. Cactus flower tones offer pops of fuchsia. Prints of lunar maps, rippled sand and exaggerated cactus appear sporadically. 3D cactus knits offer extra volume.
Multi-pocket, shape-changing parachute bags allude to the freedom of these wayfarers. Cross strap sandals and reimagined desert boots in suede or patent leather have thick soles to combat the arid and tough terrain. Sunglasses are set in planet-like frames.
Thu, October 15 2015 » Fashion Blog
For our Fall-Winter collection for Kenzo we celebrate a collective. We explore togetherness through camaraderie, ceremony and protection. Their abode is the wild, their refuge forged through their friendship with the surrounding trees and forest. Looks are defined by their warmth, draping and volumes.
Capes and blankets in graphic jacquards and shearlings wrap nocturnal floral printed dresses and trousers. Tops and skirts with cartridge pleats envelope the body and provide an extra protection when layered with knits with feathered edges.
Black, forest greens and sun yellows meld with prints of graphic dissectred rays or labyrinths. Delicate fabrics of georgette, fil coupe or chiffoned silk juxtaposed with melton wools offer polished notions of armor. Glimpses of boucle embroideries and prints in distorted camouflages elegantly sheath.
Accentuating the silhouettes are multi colored cross body leather backpacks, suede bike bucket bags, travel bags in cornflower blue and python platform chelsea boots or heels with webbing.
Humberto Leon & Carol Lim
Fri, June 19 2015 » Fashion Blog
Wed, February 18 2015 » Fashion Blog
Tue, September 30 2014 » Fashion Blog