Quick reminder : you have until October 18th to come visit our pop-up store KENZO loves Printemps. Download our app for iOS and Android to live at the space a digital experience. Discover as well our exclusive capsule collection and the yummy surprises from our partner Sugar Daze. Before you leave, make sure to stop by the selfie booth and share your pictures on Instagram #kenzolovesprintemps.
THERE IS NO PLANET B AT THE KENZO SPRING/SUMMER 2015 SHOW
As we stepped inside the skate park in a far out northern suburb of Paris, it was all too easy to think that Carol Lim and Humberto Leon would be defaulting to sub-culture and go hard on skate. Instead, the skate park with its undulating concrete waves and steps provided the perfect blank canvas for huge LED screens to be erected.
On the screens, with a background of gradiated neon colours we saw a curious face tilting her head towards us, as she spoke. “Welcome to Kenzo SS15. KENZO would like to remind you there is no planet B. Please protect what is precious.” Her name was Knola (all-knowing, all seeing?) and she is a real person despite the avatar appearance. Somewhere backstage, someone mysterious was making all of those facial expressions and movements come to life. She’s quintilingual and a global citizen, and as her voice vaulted from English to Chinese to Japanese to French to Arabic, we realised it mirrored the way we live our 21st century lives today, traveling from one place to another in what feels like a much smaller world. It also reflected how Lim and Leon are themselves global citizens, splitting their work between New York and Paris, traveling to other cities in between for KENZO and Opening Ceremony and now both with kids, their thoughts turned to the future - a positive one at that. “We were really into this optimism for the future,” said Leon after the show. “It's a future that's very close to us, not a space age future. We wanted to think about what that meant. We're definitely embracing technology and looking what is our vision for the future - cleanliness, purity, the right energy and about being responsible.” Carol further pondered: "How do we play our part in this?”
For Lim and Leon’s part, they decided to imbue KENZO SS15 collection with a free-your-mind attitude as they looked towards the future. We whizzed through flashes of New York, Tokyo, a Californian wave and sunsets on the screens accompanied by Disclosure’s special soundtrack mix, which included the breakout track White Noise. How would Knola dress? She might be KENZO’s avatar but she’s also an appropriate vision for humanity in the future as we speed towards a world where physical boundaries, ethnic background and language barriers become irrelevant. We might all be like Knolas in the future.
Every silhouette swooshed and moved as the Knolas of our times get kitted out in giant skate trousers and giant zip-up jackets. She’s not a skater girl as we know her. Aerated mesh and geometric lace in the brightest of whites were cut into elongated shirts and trumpet skirts, mimicking air streams in the sky. Technical knits and pinstriping drew lines on the body in relaxed athletic-inspired silhouettes. There was a chill-down raver vibe when we saw the looks were accessorised with organic moulded leather kitten heels and pool slides with naturalistic cut-outs, rubber handled net bags and sci-fi cyborg sunglasses. Optimistic abstract prints in pastel pinks and blues, highlighted the euphoric element in the collection. They emerged on oversized shirts and wide and loose trousers with side splits and mesh vests and swinging skirts. The final effect as models took their positions next to the Knola on the screen was an uplifting vision for the future. Machine, hand-made craftsmanship (as seen in the fabrics) and freedom in what we do or wear, standing side by side in solidarity.
On the screens, in between flashes of cityscapes, you could also see the movement of machinery. We’ve been conditioned in the last century to fear dystopian futures where machines take over our lives. But what if it doesn’t have to be this way? Lim and Leon are enthusiastic embracers of technology and they expressed that solidly with this collection and show set-up. It’s a refreshing change up from the usual doom and gloom about what dark places social media and technology are taking us. They’re looking forward, not by dwelling on the past but reacting to what’s going on around them.
NATURALLY PLAYFUL / NATURALLY KENZO
KENZO's Creative Directors, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, have united with evian to convey their graphic intimate vision for a unique one-of-a-kind bottle. The mysterious and strange oeuvre of artist and director David Lynch influenced the KENZO Fall/Winter 2014 collection for men and women and it is in this vein that the bottle's motif features a broken floor pattern, toying with the idea of shifting the elements.
Offering a magnifying glass effect when full, the bottle's purple fragmented pattern is penetrated by a sole lime zig-zag, giving the holder a distorted and skewed view of its ultra-pure contents.
Born in the purity of the Alps, dressed with a twisted spirit, the bottle embodies a naturally playful energy: a theme that united the two brands.
The evian + KENZO bottle will be available in two sizes (75 cl and 33 cl), and this year takes the Limited Edition to a PET range. Available worldwide in selected restaurants and retailers from October 2014.
The video of the KENZO Men's Spring/Summer 2015 show
The KENZO men's Spring/Summer 2015 collection
Anders Christian Madsen reviews the KENZO men's Spring/Summer show.
"Paris, je t’aime". Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are in love with the French capital, and for the KENZO spring/summer 2015 men’s show they thought they’d share it with their guests from around the world. Celebrities, editors, buyers, and family drove in procession through rainy Paris to Pont Alexandre III – the gilded bridge by the Grand Palais – where they were shown down to the riverbank. A canary yellow platform with matching benches had been erected on the quai below the bridge, the Eiffel Tower looming in the horizon.
Transparent KENZO umbrellas were passed around to guests and eventually created a mushroomed roof over the yellow platform, while black-clad team members wiped the rain off the runway with giant orange mops; a pretty amazing graphic effect.
On soundtrack duty, electronic duo Disclosure – Kenzo’s newest collaborators – opened the show with Giulio Franceschelli’s throbbing Loijy. It played for a while, seemingly with no runway action, before collective gasps suddenly went around the rows. In one ceremonious line, models were seen walking across Pont Alexandre III, the bright pastels of the collection lighting up in the rain. As they made their way to the stairs and the riverbank, each boy walked a round on the runway platform before disappearing back up the stairs onto the bridge. It was epic to say the least, and the pumping beat of Disclosure’s own When a Fire Starts to Burn, which played during the finale, only made the moment more powerful.
“I loved giving the Eiffel Tower to the guests,” Humberto said backstage, hosting the show solo due to Carol’s pregnancy. “Every time you’re here it’s so exciting to be able to see it, but sometimes you miss it so I thought, ‘You know what? This season I really want everybody to have the opportunity to see the Eiffel Tower.’” Inspired by the designer duo’s first visit to Paris and the way Parisians dress, the collection featured symbolic Parisian images such as the replica of the Statue of Liberty – also a nod to Carol and Humberto’s homeland – and the words ‘KENZO PARIS’ emblazoned across the back of jackets. “I wanted something that was really quintessentially beautiful. The macaron pinks, blues greens to me are just gorgeous, gorgeous colours,” Humberto said.
With guests like Alex Kapranos and Paul Thomson from Franz Ferdinand, Joe Jonas, Woodkid, and Jesse Metcalfe in the front row, and actor Theo Cholbi walking the final look, the show gave international visitors all the essence of Paris that Humberto had hoped for. Graphic dot patterns and stripes paid tribute to the eccentricity of the Parisian dresser while the neatness of chinos and snug jumpers in dusty pastels portrayed the pristine nature of Parisian men. “The Parisian guys are always in business suits, and then they get on their Vespas in a parka, and I love that idea,” Humberto said, referring to the motocross details that appeared throughout the collection.
“It’s now my third year here and I approached Paris for this collection with a really fresh eye. I was thinking of what Kenzo Takada might have thought when he first arrived in Paris in 1969,” Humberto said of KENZO’s founder, who was in attendance at the show. “So this collection was really about me re-living my first trip to Paris, re-experiencing everything that I love about it,” he noted. (The show invitation was even comprised of a ring of mini Eiffel Tower trinkets for everyone to keep.) From the dramatically cloudy Parisian sky acting as a natural backdrop for the show to the dome of the Grand Palais towering over the statues on the bridge, Paris couldn’t have looked better for its big KENZO tribute. Because this is the thing about Paris: even when it’s wet it looks hot.
See the KENZO Spring/Summer 2015 collection here.
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LVMH Prize Winners
Today in Paris at LVMH headquarters, the jury of the LVMH prize, of which our own creative director Humberto Leon was a member, elected Thomas Tait as the winner of the inaugural LVMH young fashion designer’s prize. Tait, a Canadian working in London, wins a grant of €300,000 towards developing his own label and a year of business mentoring from a dedicated LVMH team.
The LVMH Prize
The LVMH group, to which KENZO belongs, has long been motivated by a “passion for creativity”. This year, the Group launches and inaugurates the LVMH prize to support and celebrate young fashion designers, of which our own creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are part of the jury.
Photo: (Left to right) Delphine Arnault (Louis Vuitton), Bernard Arnault (LVMH Chairman), Humberto Leon and Carol Lim.
The LVMH Prize competition is open to young fashion designers from any country in the world under 40, who have produced at least two collections. In November 2013, applications opened for the inaugural LVMH prize. The LVMH prize committee then selected a longlist of thirty designers, who presented their collections at LVMH headquarters at Avenue Montaigne to a panel of 42 international industry experts over the 26th and 27th February 2014. These industry experts then compiled a shortlist of 12 finalists, who will meet the jury of LVMH creative directors for the judging day on 28th May in Paris.
The jury consists of
- Carol Lim and Humberto Leon
- Nicolas Ghèsquière (Louis Vuitton)
- Marc Jacobs
- Phoebe Philo (Céline)
- Raf Simons (Dior)
- Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy)
- Delphine Arnault (Executive VP of Louis Vuitton)
- Jean-Paul Claverie (Adviser to LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault)
- Pierre-Yves Roussel (President of the LVMH Fashion division)
To aid in their creative development, the winner of the LVMH prize will win:
- A grant of 300,000 euros
- Personalized technical and financial support from the Group for a 12-month period following the LVMH Prize award. This support covers all the areas of expertise that are critical to a young fashion brand (intellectual property, sourcing, production and distribution, image and advertising, marketing, etc.).
The twelve finalists in the running for the inaugural LVMH prize are:
- Atto (Julien Dossena, French, working in Paris)
- CG (Chris Gelinas, Canadian, working in New York)
- Gabriele Colangelo, Italian, working in Milan)
- Hood by Air (Shayne Olivier, American, working in New York)
- Jaquemus (Simon Porte Jaquemus, French, working in Paris)
- Miuniku (Tina and Nikita Sutradhar, Indian, working in Mumbai)
- Simone Rocha (Simone Rocha, Irish, working in London)
- Suno (Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis, American, working in New York)
- Thomas Tait (Thomas Tait, Canadian, working in London)
- Tillmann Lauterbach (Tillman Lauterbach, German, working in Paris)
- Tim Coppens (Tim Coppens, Belgian, working in New York)
- Vika Gavinskaya (Vika Gavinskaya, Russian, working in Moscow)
To learn more about each designer and to watch their presentation video, click here.
Stay tuned to KENZINE to find out who will emerge the winner on the 28th May, 2014!
Our best KENZO ambassadors this morning in front of La Cité de la Mode in Paris... A joyful mix of Eyes and tigers from last season and fish and waves from this one!
FRONT ROW AT THE FALL/WINTER 2014 WOMEN'S SHOW
This morning, KENZO friends and family came out in force at La Cité de la Mode in Paris to show some love and support to Carol and Humberto.
A beautiful front row where Jessica Alba, Rila Fukushima, Jeanne Damas, Mademoiselle Yulia, Delfina Delettrez, Suzie Bubble, Chiara Ferragni, Atlanta de Cadenet or Tao Okomonto were wearing their favourite KENZO silhouettes of the season.
Even Kenzo Takada graced us with his presence!