A French luxury brand, an alchemy of orient and west, was founded by Japanese Fashion designer, Kenz Takada in 1970.
- Charity work
The brand’s identity was best described as “West meets East” a reflection of the designer’s own personality a Japanese living in Paris. With fun prints, ethnic vibe, textures and flowers; the collections were from the beginning a blur from Asian influences and Parisian culture. He opened his first boutique in 1970, called Jungle Jap in Paris. His designs featured in American Vogue in 1971, where his smock tent dresses, oversized dungarees, enlarged armholes, original shoulder shapes and unique store were slated by the publication as the next development in the Paris boutique scene. Eventually he established boutiques in all the largest cities of the world and by 1987 Kenzo had also ventured into menswear, children’s wear, bed linen and bath wear line. In 1988, his women’s perfume line began with Kenzode Kenzo, and his first men’s fragrance, Kenzo pour Homme, in 1991. Flower by Kenzo, launched in 2000, and has since become a flagship fragrance for the Kenzo Perfumes brand. In 2001, a skincare line, Kenzo KI was also launched. In 1993, his label was bought by LVMH and later in 1999, he announced his retirement, leaving his assistants in charge of his fashion house. In October 1999, Gilles Rosier took over as head designer for the house of Kenzo and Roy Krejberg became the creative director of Kenzo Homme. In 2003, Italian designer Antonio Marras, was appointed by the LVMH group as the Art Director of Kenzo and was named creative director in December 2008, a journey that lasted until 2011.Somewhere as a result of the transitions of designers, the brand lost its true vibe and essence, also unfortunately sales began to lag for the iconic label and LVMH was on the verge of selling had it not been for Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, the duo behind cult US clothing store ‘Opening Ceremony’. Creative directorship of Marras was succeeded by Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. Kenzo Takada revolutionized the fashion scene with a mix of high fashion and street culture Inspired by his native Japan. The first step for Carol and Humberto to relaunch his brand was to Change the mix of products. They looked back at the time Kenzo had its first store, the Jungle, and chose the tiger as an element to represent this history. Kenzo in its initial days was really into street wear, famous for its jumpsuits, the duo wanted to bring that brand identity back but while making it relevant for the new generation. Besides facing initial internal resistance, as sweaters were not a category in Kenzo by 2011, the duo won the right to put it in the collection. The first installment of this collection was sold out in their Paris store after three hours. They revived the tiger symbol and also made the eye one of the most identifiable fashion icons of the KENZO collections, which worked wonders for the brand.
Founders of Opening Ceremony, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, are the creative directors and head designers of the brand since 2012. Their aim is to shake up the ‘jungle’ world of fashion .Their iconic tiger shirt and clothing has been worn by many celebrities and fashion bloggers including Beyoncé, Zooey Deschanel, Swizz Beatz, Selena Gomez, Spike Jonze, Joan Smalls, Lorde, and Rihanna.
Like Kenzo in the 1970s, Humberto and Carol decide to go up against the standard expectations of seasonal trends. They are said to be highly influenced by the environment of the 21st century. They collaborate with avant-garde artists, musicians, actors, and designers each collection. Their fall 2014 collection, they collaborated with filmmaker David Lynch, who mixed the soundtrack for the show and provided a large sculpture. They also initiated collaborations with Vans (2012) and H&M (2016) ,respectively as a part of their rebranding strategy, though collaborating with such non luxury brands which cater to a very different customer segment wasn’t one of the their best decisions, but with such unpredictable collaborations they were getting familiarized with Kenzo’s new target and were successful in creating brand awareness amongst a wider spectrum of customers back then in 2016. The eclectic collection with a number of motifs that bring Carol and Humberto a bit further along on the brand’s modernization. Without ever erasing Kenzo’s most iconic elements, the duo brings things in line with the times to reveal the brand’s relevance.
Britney Spears is the face of Kenzo’s new campaign.
The images throwback to the fun style of the 80s. Wearing three different outfits, a cropped sweater, matching print set and a full denim look comprised of a jacket, hat, and over-the-knee boots, Design duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim didn’t explain why they picked the singer to front the campaign, but do they need to? Take a look at her Instagram. When she isn’t twirling in the hallway at home in a montage of outfits, she’s selling paintings for $10k, and generally being iconic. Duh, she’s Britney! If you can’t get enough of Miss Spears let’s be honest, who can? You’ll be pleased to hear that Kenzo has teased a video of the singer that will debut on its Instagram account this year.
Ana Lily Amirpour reimagines Blow Up for Kenzo – starring Karen O
While its men’s and women’s collections remain its main focus, Kenzo has always had an interest in fusing the worlds of fashion and film. Over the years it has collaborated with directors including Akinola Davies Jr, Spike Jonze and Kahlil Joseph, as well as recently launching a film series to spotlight young filmmakers globally. For its latest project, the brand has tapped A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) director Ana Lily Amirpour to interpret its SS18 collection. Featuring a soundtrack and a blink-and-you’d-miss-it cameo from Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman and longtime friend of the designers Karen O, the film reimagines the famous male photographer scene from the 1966 cult film Blow-Up -with an unexpected twist. “The beautiful part about this is its two women that decided to make this film together,” said Kenzo’s Carol Lim of Amirpour and O’s partnership. “It’s an amazing artistic endeavor and a conversation between two women.” In a continuation of its diverse SS18 show that featured all Asian models, the film also features majority Asian cast including model and actress Kiko Mizuhara. It was really ‘’beautiful and poetic to cast a full Asian cast and celebrate the heritage of the brand,” In addition, there was limited run of two different styles of vinyl available from both Karen O and Kenzo’s websites on January 22 which followed the Kenzo’s AW18 show.
Macaulay Culkin dressed as a weird clown for Kenzo
If you hate clowns, this probably isn’t for you….But Since Humberto Leon and Carol Lim took over as creative directors at Kenzo, they have been translating their vision into more than just fashion shows and clothing, the pair has been committed to working outside the traditional way that fashion is presented.
For their latest which is the brand’s fifth entitled film Cabiria, Charity, Chastity is directed by Orange is the New Black actress Natasha Lyonne and features a host of famous faces including Macaulay Culkin, Matt Lucas and Maya Rudolph. For this film, Rudolph appears as main character Charity on a surreal journey with clowns, showgirls and a puppet show.
The film was released during Kenzo’s SS18 show on September 27 that will no doubt incorporate a performance element – as the brand has done since combining its menswear and womenswear shows. Here’s to hoping that Culkin makes an appearance in full clown face.
Kenzo launched a new film series to spotlight young filmmakers,
The film featured Kenzo Season Zero’s debut which features a trio of shorts by directors from around the globe.
Kenzo has proven time and time again that it is more than just a fashion brand and is forever evolving under the creative direction of Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. Following film projects with Akinola Davies Jr, Kahlil Joseph and photographer Ruth Ossai, the fashion brand has decided to launch a new initiative to support young talents and give them a platform to display their work
The most spellbinding fashion films of 2016
From captivating choreography to cameos from cult celebrities, the best fashion of 2016. It’s been a really good year for fashion film. More and more, the industry is mining the medium’s potential to express its ideas to the world. We’ve seen designers and magazines work with acclaimed directors, photographers and filmmakers; draw inspiration from cult cinema; cast cultural icons and devise new and innovative ways of storytelling. Here we bring together some of the best short films that have engaged, entertained and inspired us – from Spike Jonze’s film for Kenzo in which in the last couple of years they’ve commissioned legendary auteurs including Gregg Araki, Sean Baker and Carrie Brownstein. For their new perfume, the design duo enlisted her director Spike Jonze to create a short film starring The Leftovers stars Margaret Qualley who performs an incredible dance solo choreographed by Ryan Heffington (who has worked with FKA twigs and Sia on her music video “Chandelier”). Actress Margaret Qualley performs a hypnotic dance solo to another’s candid conversation with legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell and Palace’s hilarious spoof infomercial featuring Jonah Hill. So sit back, scroll down and enjoy these films.
Kenzo Takada was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the 55th Fashion Editors’ Club of Japan Awards ceremony in the Japanese capital in march 2017. Hiromichi Ochiai, of street wear brand Facetasm, was granted the designer of the year prize.
Takada had received accolades by the club twice previously, in 1972 and 1999, the year he retired from his fashion house. While the 78-year-old designer has called Paris home for over half a century, he made the trip to Japan to accept his award.
Humberto Leon and Carol Lim both grew up in California and are well aware of the issues that endanger marine life that they decided to join forces with Blue Marine Foundation to fight against over fishing and pollution. They said “We were eager to partner with a visionary organization that spoke about how we could live in harmony with the ocean. As we researched different charitable associations, we discovered the Blue Marine Foundation to be the perfect match. We wholeheartedly support their mission creating sustainable fishing and creating marine reserves. We are extremely excited about this long-term partnership between Kenzo and the Blue Marine Foundation and hope to create more and more awareness of this issue.
To help do so, Kenzo has launched a unisex capsule collection for their Spring/Summer 2014 collection bearing a “No fish no nothing” slogan on T-shirts and sweatshirts; all proceeds will be donated to the foundation in hoping to ensure protection of the world’s oceans. They have also put up a digital pop up store in Paris for one week from March 21 to March 27. A screen will allow the customers to browse and buy the garments, and every time a customer buys a new digital fish will enrich their digital aquarium. Also by taking a photo of the store and using the hashtag #NoFishNoNothing, will also support the cause and add a fish to the digital aquarium.
Kenzo started his perfume campaign for the recent his perfume collection, the fragrance show cased that the young girl with free spirit who can be whatever she wants to do, the story was about a office girl who was in an official office party and then she comes out all this free and young girl who can be what she wants and can do whatever she can ,this celebrates the free spirit of the an women ,who should not be in cover and also be more free about ere views and appearance.