For the Spring/Summer collection, the duo went to the edge of the ocean to draw inspiration in creating the emblems of the season: fish, waves and palm trees are now part of the brand’s visual vocabulary. And if you like our icons, just wait for Fall/Winter: they will all be back at the same time on a very unique pattern mixing eyes, tigers, flying tigers, clouds and fish.
Growing up in Los Angeles during the golden age of Californian punk, the duo was inspired by this aesthetic encompassing music, fashion and visual arts. The famous black and white logo drawn in ink of a cult band from the Orange County scene is called to mind and revisited in the collection in both tops and straight-leg shorts. This scene also conjures up the thought of waves drawn with a black felt tip pen, which were ultimately reproduced on tops and accessories.
Since marine life is essential to the development of all forms of life, Carol and Humberto want to raise awareness about the devastation caused by overfishing in some major marine areas. The Spring/Summer 2014 collection highlights four endangered species (the bluefin tuna for example) that we find in the iconic prints of the season. The slogan “No fish, No nothing” serves as our motto to support the activities of BLUE.
Her American, European and Asian roots as well as her striking doll-like face led to her rise as one of the most unique-looking and beloved top models. For this campaign, we rediscover a siren in a surreal universe of striking colors.
Whether abstract or figurative, the wave is one of the iconic designs of our Spring/Summer 2014 collection. It is clearly inspired by the Pacific Ocean whose waters lap against the California coast, the homeland of Humberto and Carol and paradise for surfers from all over the world. The perpetual ebb and flow of waves also brings to mind constant renewal, a concept that has always been near and dear to the brand.
This “wave crest” can be seen not only in the prints of this collection but also cuts, unique to the brand’s couture heritage. Large cut outs on the sides of numerous tops and coats offer glimpses of curve of the back and intriguing overlay designs.
Californian architecture was a major source of inspiration for the women’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection. The angular structure of the metal heels of the shoes evoke the rectangular and minimalist metal constructions of case study houses. Their perforations echo the style of futuristic googie buildings, which drew inspiration from the space age.
For the mens show Fall/Winter 2014, american architecture was again a source of inspiration for Carol and Humberto. This time, they traveled to the rainy Pacific Northwest and their mysterious and ghostly workers' houses. These houses might appear banal at first glance, but they have layers and history when you look deeper. As stated in the collection, things are not always what they seem…
The Zygomaticus, or the set of 17 smile muscles, was the obvious choice to wrap up our KENZOPEDIA.
Kenzo Takada was known for his beaming smile and his ability to switch from laughter to intense concentration from one second to the next. These days, his successors Carol and Humberto are adept at working their zygomaticus and that of everyone they meet. Fun is an attitude, a mood and a way of grasping fashion.
Since taking the helm as artistic directors for KENZO in July 2011, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have succeeded in reviving the fresh air and creative energy that invigorated the brand in its 70s heyday.
With vibrant colors, modern cuts, digitalized prints, unexpected events and amusing campaigns they brought to the streets, the pair has managed to capture the spirit of the house, all the better to add their trademark twist. This youthful energy is their signature: raw, spontaneous and urban. The streewear pieces of the collection brings a younger generation of KENZO fans to our community and they have a playful attitude towards fashion and themselves.
The letter “X”, the ultimate symmetrical letter and the symbol of crossings, has always been part of our DNA but Carol and Humberto organised its first comeback in Jean-Paul Goude’s campaign for Fall/Winter 2012. Two dancers – one male, one female – forming an X, were incorporated into the KENZO logo.
The image can be flipped like a playing card. Roles can be exchanged. This idea behind the visual was too good not to be used again in the Spring/Summer 2013 campaign. With the “X” now recognized as a new symbol for the brand, the campaign is decidedly anchored in the collective memory. And people recognize it, this fall, as a stylistic pattern of the women's collection on skirts, dresses and pants inspired by the kimono.