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La Collection Memento N°1

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KENZO – La Collection Memento N°1

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 reside.

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.Since joining KENZO in 2011, we have sought to honor the house’s legacy by channeling its original spirit, colors and language and Kenzo Takada’s boundless energy.

Presenting KENZO – La Collection Memento N°1. 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 advertising for the KENZO’s 1983 collection, shot in Lanzarote and 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

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Hans Feurer, 1975

“At the time, when Kenzo asked me to do pictures for him, he didnʼt really have a concept of how he wanted these pictures to be. I had this idea of doing extreme close- ups and sort of suggesting without really showing.
So I asked him how far I could go. What if I wanted to only do close-ups of womenʼs eyes? He said “if thatʼs what you want, do that”. He gave me complete carte blanche. His trust was absolute, it was really extraordinary.

Hans Feurer, 1975

I shot almost all the KENZO campaigns with Françoise Ha Van, an extraordinary stylist. Her touch can be seen in all the pictures.”

Hans Feurer


Nadya Tolokonnikova,
Pussy Riot

Masks and balaclavas are a powerful symbol of anarchist and antifascist movements. Itʼs about anonymity. Itʼs not about your face, itʼs about your idea, about your aesthetics. The mask is a powerful symbol of that.
We started Pussy Riot in 2011, the year of upheaval in Arab countries, the Arab Spring. I know it ended up not truly beautifully but it was an important rise of people who wanted to fight for their rights, it inspired us. We hoped that it would bring more rights to Arab women. In the end, they actually lost some of their rights.
When we started Pussy Riot, we had just three people willing to take part. Everybody anticipated the danger of it. In order to create the feeling that we had more than one collective, we put on a mask. People knew our faces from five years of political activism and artistic actions. We were doing this over and over again, and everybody was tired of our fucking faces.
We thought of wearing black balaclavas at first but we didnʼt want to look like cops or terrorists, so we chose bright colors.
We stole them from a shop, as we didnʼt have any money. I have a lot friends in America that are always bitching about being broke but that means they have a least 5000 dollars in the bank. Middle-class problems.
When we started, we didnʼt have any money. So we went to our version of a Russian dollar-store, stole some hats, took scissors and made three holes.
Itʼs really disappointing that in a lot of cases, people lack solidarity. They donʼt think of themselves as movements, especially in leftist movements. Itʼs all about your persona, your life story.
We got sick of discussing our lives, and lifestyles, and biographies. We wanted to be a force, a political force that didnʼt have a life story. Thatʼs why we put on a mask.

Iʼm looking forward to seeing Pussy Riot hats in the streets of the United States, I think itʼs time. I saw the pussy hats during the Womenʼs March. I saw some activists turn their pussy hats into balaclavas.
Itʼs an exciting moment for me. Big and powerful movements happen around symbols. We did have white ribbons in Russia at the end of 2011 when we were protesting against Putin. Several thousands of people
took to the streets and decided to wear white ribbons. During the Ukrainian revolution they had orange flags. Every big movement needs to have a sign. Balaclavas, pussy hats, pick whatever you want but just fight against
misogyny and racism.

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