Love City: Kenzo

December 1 2014, 0 Comments




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Love city Japan focuses on Kenzo Paris created in 1970 by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada today. For those of you who follow fashion closely you already know that Kenzo Paris has teamed with a multitude of artists, celebrities, musicians and the like and has been seen on the backs of Selena Gomez and rocked on stage by both Solange Knowles and Beyonce. As a result the label has received a revival of sorts and is now sought after by fashionistas the world over.


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So what makes Kenzo so appealing? Kenzo is known for bold prints and innovations in fabric. For all my budding clothing designers, Kenzo developed his aesthetic because he could not afford luxe fabrics so he mixed and combined textiles found at the flea market. Indeed, Kenzo has always had a love of daring prints he then mixed and matched into statement making pieces. This years spring 2013 RTW pays homage to the legacy left by Kenzo; inspired by the clouded leopard of Asia, this collection is both strong and feminine. Therefore, its no wonder that Beyonce asked Kenzo Paris to create custom pieces for her Mrs. Carter world tour. In addition, Kenzo has been worn on the red carpet by Brandy, Jessica Alba and Rita Ora. Quite naturally the attention has breathed new life into the brand making its Spring 2013 collection very popular amongst the fashion set.

So what is behind the brand’s resurgence? Kenzo’s dream was to make it to Paris and in 1970 he opened his first store called Jungle Jap. Kenzo went on to enjoy tremendous success including a men’s line, fragrances and skin care. Kenzo retired in 1991 after selling his brand to LVMH. Unfortunately sells 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 creative team behind Opening Ceremony.


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Leon and Lim sought to find new iconography by which the brand could be identified. According to StyleCaster, the two noticed that the tiger was used “on the inside of waistbands, on the inside of bags, on tiny things in watches” and thought it both “elegant and cool.” The tiger sweatshirt we have seen everywhere from Vogue magazine to international fashion bloggers was actually made for Leon with much resistance from the company. However, once the sweatshirt was manufactured it sold out in two days much to the surprise of Leon and Lim. As a result, the company, which has never made sweatshirts in its 40-year history, has since made it apart of its offerings.

Kenzo Paris is now a fun, youthful and fashion forward company once again thanks to the creativity of Leon and Lim. Together they remain true to the company’s mission statement: working towards a multicultural world, a world of colors and beauty, with nature as a vibrant, inexhaustible source of inspiration.


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