TêTE à TêTE WITH KIRCHKNOPF + GRAMBOW

Last week, we published a story by KIRCHKNOPF + GRAMBOW on the KENZO x NEW ERA collaboration of the seasonToday is your chance to know more about this very creative young German studio.

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KENZINE: How would you describe your aesthetic?
KIRCHKNOPF + GRAMBOW: fact fucks fiction


K: What or who has influenced you over the years (photographer, music, tv, cinema, cities, etc.)?
K+G: Everything we see, do and experience is adding to our continuous live feed and may leave its impression. But for sure the more fundamental these influences break into your life the more you´ll probably have to deal with them.


K: What's the story of this girl samouraï who inspired you for the shoot?
K+G: To quote the "Hagakure", "The Way of the Samurai is one of immediacy, and it is best to dash in headlong. (...) One should make his decisions within the space of seven breaths. It is matter of being determined and having the spirit to break right through to the other side." And as the book continues "It is good to carry some powdered rouge in one´s sleeve. It may happen that when one is sobering up or waking from sleep, a samurai´s complexion may be poor. At such a time it is good to take out and apply some powdered rouge." It's never a bad thing to wear a good looking armor!


K: Can you talk about your model? There is something very rough, very tough about her.
K+G: We were running across Tamy and were immediatley taken by her contradictory qualities, appearing both heroic and sensitive, weak and strong. We love her yearning attitude and her ability to oscillate between assumed opposites.


K: Are you influenced a lot by Asian culture?
K+G: One night in Tokyo, we had this get together with the producer, the SFX suitmaker and the stuntman of the latest series of Godzilla movies which we adore. They revealed us this one fundamental truth about asian culture and the soul of godzilla, which we deeply soaked up that night together with a lot of warm sake.


K: Which pictorial references did you have in mind for this story?
K+G: In this case particularly, we’ve been thinking a lot about ancient japanese color woodcuts and lacquer painting masterpieces, japanese fetishism concerning patterns and texture and about immaculate surfaces, in a mechanical and digital sense likewise. And as the new era basecaps originally made their way via HipHop to us and we were listening to RZA´s Album Afro Samurai while shooting, there´s probably also a certain Hip Hop ingredient in it.


K: Why do you think the eye is such a recurrent symbol today?
K+G: Maybe because we human beings are based mainly on our visual perception. What we see is what we know, is what we trust. Ever since humankind seems to be tempted to have a all seeing, protecting and all knowing eye or prism.


K: KENZO is all about travelling, what is your favourite city and why?
K+G: We love Berlin for it being our homebase, Asian Istanbul for friends, Lahmacun and Raki, Saigon also for genious food, its moped racetracks, it´s vibrant haze and Sao Paulo for it´s sweat and sweet dirt.


K: Where would you like to travel if you could go anywhere now?
K+G: "2001"'s Star Gate or "Solaris". Besides, earth loses its photographic appeal by the minute. Until you guys at KENZO are designing a globe-sized basecap... But to be earnest: we don´t see that happening any time soon. Except the ghost of Buckminster Fuller swings in your office and drops a blueprint of the thing.


K: What are your projects for the upcoming season?
K+G: Until that happens we´ll take it with the words of Alphaville and get "Big In Japan".