KENZO and Vans have teamed up four times on different capsule collections. Season after season, the Vans Authentic, chukkas and Slip-Ons were covered in the iconic prints of the brand and the limited edition kicks sell out in mere days. KENZO creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim were keen to impart a classic American aesthetic into the Paris-based label.
"Since our childhood in suburban L.A., we've been fans of Vans and own too many pairs to count!" they explained. "Vans is one of the iconic American brands and we liked the idea of infusing this bit of American style into the house of KENZO."
Tête à tête with brianna capozzi
Brianna Capozzi, a New York based photographer, shot an epic story we published this week on the KENZO x VANS collaboration for this season. She played with the iconic patterns of the men's Fall/Winter collection : Lightning Bolts, Clouds and Flying Tigers.
Kenzine tells you all about it...
KENZINE: How would you describe your aesthetic?
BRIANNA CAPOZZI: My work is less about the technique of photography and more the making of an image. I am interested in creating the entire story and the styling is extremely important. I often make a lot of the clothing in my personal shoots. I am also really drawn to the models I work with. I am constantly asking strangers on the street to shoot with me. I’m very interested in creating a character based on them, and when I meet someone, I know exactly who I want them to be and need to do the shoot immediately, like tomorrow.
For a long time, my shoots were just the model and I. I would style and do the hair and make up myself; this allowed me to really develop my own aesthetic.
K: Who has influenced you over the years?
B. C.: My biggest influence comes from my schooling. I went to an amazing program at Parsons and, for three years, was taught by Pascale Gatzen. She is one of the most amazing artists and mentors I have come across. She taught me not to be skewed by rules and to go where I want when creating. She has had the biggest impact on how I create and the process I go through to get to my images. Also, Susan Cianciolo and Sarah Aphrodite, both incredible artists and fashion designers, along with Antek Walczak, one of the members from the Bernedete Corporation, taught me to make whatever I want. These people were breaking grounds! Still are. Creating is not really something you can control, thats one of the biggest mistakes people make. When you finally allow it to just be, that is when you will begin to make work that is truly orginal.
K: What is the concept for this story?
B. C.: The concept for this story, which I hope is quite obvious, is that the girls are news anchors reporting on some epic weather.
K: You have your own way of using the models, can you talk about it?
B. C.: Julia (stylist of the KENZO x VANS story) and I are very drawn to the aesthetic of the past, and the eeriness of recreating that. We knew we wanted the girls to look a bit 80s and 90s, and Clark and Niko really got that down with the hair and make up. Also, I still shoot film - maybe that has its own effect on the models, too.
K: Did you have a cult movie or tv show on media in mind for this story?
B. C.: No, not at all. For this shoot I spent more time watching the news than ever before. I recorded the news channels all day and went through them at night. My mother would have been pleased at how up on current event I was. I also watched a lot of 80s news on the web because I knew I wanted the gritty, dated feel. Ed Benitez killed it with the graphics too, perfecting the low quality feel I was looking for. That really brought the images into a new realm. I am, however, aware that a few images are very "Saved by the Bell", which I’m totally down with.
K: How do you use humour in photography or how do you play with images?
B. C.: That’s something that just happens. There is a whole a lot of humor in my life, so it would be pretty hard to not convey that in my work. I will always like something that’s funny more than something that’s not.
K: Are you more a summer, fall, winter or spring girl and why?
B. C.: Summer. A reoccurring conflict in my life is if I should just pick up and move to Hawaii and surf all day. I follow this one amazing pro surfer chick, Alana Blanchard, on instagram and am just in awe of how cool her life is. I mean this one orange wetsuit she wears is unreal! I’m dying to shoot her.
K: The perfect thing to do when it rains?
B. C.: It’s really nice to be alone and make something on those gloomy days and not talk to anyone.
KENZO talks a lot about traveling, what is your favourite city and why?
B. C.: As much as I can cringe at the fact that I am saying this, I am pretty New York.
K: Do you like photographing or instagraming the sky?
B. C.: Not really. I instagram butts!
K: Where would you like to travel if you could go anywhere now?
B. C.: Anywhere tropical!
K: What are your projects for the upcoming season?
B. C.: Julia and I put a big personal project on hold to work on this shoot, so we are going to get back on track with that. You’ll see ;) <3
August 2013 brings with it the end of summer and also the arrival in-store of the fifth and ultimate collaborative collection of Vans by KENZO.
Creative Direction: Brianna Capozzi and Julia Ehrlich
Photography: Brianna Capozzi
Styling: Julia Ehrlich
Graphics: Ed Benitez
Hair: Clark Phillips
Make up: Niko Lopez
Models: Ella Verberne and Chase Carter at IMG Models and Walter Pearce
KENZO x VANS GIFS - #5
An explosive finale as a celebration of our Clouded Leopard KENZO x VANS wich are almost sold out!
KENZO x VANS GIFS #4
We are happy to release our gif of the day, introducing the army green and blue KENZO x VANS.
KENZO x VANS GIFS #3
Here comes our third KENZO x VANS gif introducing the yellow and blue Clouded Leopard slip-on shoes!
EYE OF THE TIGER #10
Last year Humberto Leon and Carol Lim visited Thailand with the purpose of trekking in and absorbing the magnificent and awe -inducing Asian jungles. Animals abound in the world of the jungle, including wild elephants, monkeys and exotic reptiles. But one of the most exciting - and elusive - animals in Thailand is the Clouded Leopard, the large and beautifully abstracted spots of which became the main inspiration for the prints from our Spring-Summer 2013 KENZO collection.
So eye catching and alluring on the selected KENZO show garments, Carol and Humberto felt it the perfect fit for
the next edition of Vans, and propose six different, vibrant color-ways via this clouded leopard print in hues of
ocre, orange, blue, green and kaki. The print features on new pairs of Vans Authentic and Slip-On Vans.
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KENZO x VANS PARTY AT BALAJO
We decided to celebrate our new collaboration with Vans and the brand new Clouded Leopard printed pairs with a party at the Balajo. Vashtie and Oscar 1992 were opening the night, followed by Lady Miss Kier from Deee-Lite who performed an amazing live and our favourite hits. And finally Surkin closed the party with 300 happy dancers.
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