Named for the company’s Founder, Kenzo Takada, KENZO burst on the Parisian retail scene in 1964 with vibrant handmade clothing sold from a boutique called “Jungle Jap.” Over the next few decades, Takada became celebrated for using Asian ‘Japanese’ influenced style with the expert construction of European high fashion. Although he retired from creative in 2000 to pursue a career in art, his brand has seen resurgence since 2011 under the direction of famed-duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. Together they have reinvented the house’s signature pop-art motifs and modernized the creative spirit that had derailed after Takada’s retirement.
“We decided to take a break from the flower,” Carol Lim says. “We feel that KENZO stands for more than this one element. We wanted to find a new symbol for the house, something that would represent its new energy. We decided to start with the tiger, as it is part of KENZO's early history. We're so happy to see it being embraced.”
Along with Leon and Lim’s updated aesthetic, the brand also took on the task of incorporating many conscious ideas throughout their project choices. KENZO’s approach is that fashion is a doorway for awareness and activism. They have shed light on deforestation and global warming in the past; and in 2017 they have partnered with ‘Earth Guardians’ and ‘Ideas for US’ for ongoing initiatives.
The point, said Lim, was not to position themselves as fashion’s do-gooders: “Let’s start the dialogue and if people learn about ideas through us, that’s great.”
Social Status Presents: KENZO f/w 2017
a collection of embroidered sweaters with the popular tiger motif, a wool chenille logo jumper, print cotton tees, and assortment of leather small-goods. Also featured is the Earth Hoodie in association with ‘Earth Guardians’.
Available now in store and online