Kenzo, the fashion jungle.
French fashion house famous for its perfumes and ready-to-wear, Kenzo is a marriage of western and eastern influences creating pieces that are both romantic and modern. Instantly recognisable, its creations reveal a striking print here, a sophisticated cut there... or both!
Parisian sophistication and Japanese exuberance.
Launched in 1970 in Paris, Kenzo was, for a time, known as Jungle Jap before adopting the first name of its founder, Kenzo Takada. At the time, the young designer had no other choice but to use the means at his disposal: he expressed his creativity by sewing together offshoots of colourfully printed fabric, on which could be seen a mixture of animal motifs and vegetation, often on an all-over basis. His creations were snazzy, fresh and original. Initially devoted to feminine fashion, the Kenzo fashion house gradually broadened its line of approach. So, the Kenzo Homme line for men was born in 1983, followed five years later by Kenzo Parfum, with a first fragrance simply christened Kenzo. A French nectar with aromas of mandarin and orange, perfectly matching the spirit of the brand. In 1991, the designer, guided by his passion for art, started designing soft furnishings with Kenzo Maison.
Apart from his clothing collections and perfumes, the brand designs jewellery, mainly featuring tigers, the signature of Carol Lim and Humberto Leon or revealing floral and botanical patterns. As for leather goods, the fashion house offers tote bags and graphic clutches, playing with various materials, shapes and designs. Kenzo's lines of shoes include two-tone mocassins and leather sandals sewn with sequins as well as trainers in sparkling printed canvas.
Kenzo after Kenzo Takada.
Even if the company was taken over by LVMH in 1993, Kenzo Takada remained at the helm until 1999, the year he retired to devote himself to his greatest passion, art. His successors, Antonio Marras from 2003 to 2011, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim today, have obviously left their mark on the brand, but each have been careful to respect the DNA in the collections of menswear, womenswear and childrenswear. The brand has also released several sumptuous advertising campaigns, like the one for Kenzo World perfume in 2017, featuring Margaret Qualley in a real invitation on a journey. Other muses of the label, like Louise Bourgoin or the French model of Indian origin Satya Oblette, were chosen for their "limitless freshness", each making their own personal contribution to the image of a unique and slightly irreverential brand.
Somewhere between Parisian sophistication and Japanese purity, Kenzo is characterised by its extravagant prints and refined cuts which play with graphics, asymmetry and the addition of ruffles and panels. Here are three Kenzo pieces every wardrobe really must have: