In 1964, Kenzo Takada made his famous voyage from Japan to Paris by boat to pursue his dream of becoming an international fashion designer. In 1970, he founded what is now known as KENZO in the Galerie Vivienne, around the corner from where the KENZO headquarters currently resides. His impact on the fashion landscape can still be felt far and wide, most notably in the prevalence of ready-to-wear and the democratization of the industry. His path-breaking success opened doors for many foreign designers to come to Paris with similar dreams to make their name in the global fashion capital, and thus created the catalyst for many new and exciting points of view within the world of French fashion. This spirit of openness is still very much alive. Paris is still Paris.
Presenting KENZO – La Collection Memento N°1.Since joining KENZO in 2011, we have sought to honor the house’s legacy by channeling its original spirit, colors, language, and Kenzo Takada’s boundless energy. By introducing this new series, we will tell the history of the house with a collection where each chapter celebrates its rich archives. KENZO – La Collection Memento is rooted in pieces that were created during our founders’ journey and welcomes back to life pieces that are truly KENZO.
For the first outing in this series of collections, we were drawn to one of the house’s most celebrated advertising campaigns; that of Kenzo Takada’s collaboration with image maker Hans Feurer. The campaign for the KENZO 1983 collection, shot in Lanzarote featuring the now iconic models Sayoko and Iman, broke the rules of fashion advertising. It challenged the boundaries of fashion and artistic imagery, and gave a new, and exciting individual take on KENZO’s collections.
As soon as we saw the floral prints in this collection, we knew that these would become the starting block for the rest of the pieces. We subsequently looked further back into the archives and were intrigued by garments from other seasons, most notably knitwear and dresses from Fall 1981. A wool beret from Fall 1971 inspired our women’s tailoring. Key Kenzo Takada details such as high collars on ruffled smock dresses along with the floral prints are combined with iconic KENZO detailing such as prints of lions, elephants and wild animals. Platform sandals are worn with printed socks. For menswear, warm winter down coats are shown alongside cotton poplin printed pajamas. Reversible coach jackets with eagle jacquards walk alongside KENZO varsity jackets. Denim backpacks from the archives are transformed with the Fall 1983 florals.
— Carol Lim + Humberto Leon
For those of us who maybe weren’t around to witness the original 1983 campaign release , below see some of our favorite iconic images photographed by Hans Feurer, alongside his latest shoot on the same volcanic island. Hell, we even threw in some archival images of the original pieces that unmistakably inspired the latest collection.