Kenzo (stylized as KENZO PARIS) is a French luxury fashion house founded in 1970 by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada and owned by parent company LVMH.[2]

Kenzo S.A.
Company typeSociété Anonyme / Subsidiary of public company
Founded1970; 54 years ago (1970)
FounderKenzo Takada
Key people
Nigo (Artistic Director)
Footnotes / references

History edit

Kenzo Takada, 1970–1998 edit

Kenzo Takada was born in Japan and moved to Paris in 1964 to start his fashion career.[3] He then became known for using Asian influenced style with the construction of European fashion. He started with a 'Jungle Jap' boutique located at Galerie Vivienne and decorated in jungle inspired interior. He began with handmade women's clothing; reportedly, he made his first collection with $200 worth of fabrics bought at a large discount house in Montmartre.[4] The brand became Kenzo after a fashion show in New York in 1976, as the American market considered 'Jungle Jap' too pejorative.[5]

In 1983, Kenzo started designing men and then kids and home collections in 1987, followed by fragrances in 1988.[5]

In 1993, luxury-products maker LVMH acquired Kenzo from SEBP and Financière Truffaut for about $80 million.[6] From 1995, Kenzo also produced Kenzo Studio, a line was produced through a licensing agreement with the Bonaventure Group. While Kenzo developed the line's fashion direction, Studio was sold only in the U.S. and Kenzo retail stores in China.[7]

Later years edit

From 1999 until 2003, Gilles Rosier and Roy Krejberg designed the women's and men's lines, respectively.[8]

From 2006 until 2008, over 100 of Kenzo's stores worldwide were refurbished.[9]

From 2008 until 2011, Antonio Marras served as Kenzo's creative director, overseeing the brand in its entirety.[9][10] By 2011, Kenzo barely broke even, with annual sales estimated at 150 million euros ($197.4 million).[11][12]

In 2011, Carole Lim and Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony were appointed co-creative directors.[13] The pair was credited with revitalizing the Kenzo brand and making it appeal to a younger customer, as well as re-defining and expanding the role of a fashion creative director to encompass all elements of creative work at a brand, not just designing the garments.[14]

By 2017, Kenzo built the accessories and shoe business to almost 30 percent of revenues.[15] Lim and Leon exited Kenzo in 2019.[16] Also in 2019, Kenzo ended its distribution agreement with I.T to take back control of its 35 stores in China via a joint venture with the same partner.[17] Under the creative direction of Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Kenzo launched a line of men's and women's sportswear, titled Kenzo Sport.[18] In April 2021, Kenzo said it would part ways with Oliveira Baptista by the end of his term in June.[19]

In September 2021, Kenzo appointed Nigo of A Bathing Ape as their new artistic director.[20][21][22]

Locations edit

Kenzo has expanded rapidly in the time since its first American store has opened, as of June 2021 it now operates 6 locations in the US:

In June 2020, Kenzo unveiled its first American flagship store in SoHo, Manhattan.[25][26]

Additionally it has nearly 145 stores worldwide primarily concentrated in Southeast Asia, Japan and Europe.[24]

Role in popular culture edit

The character Kenzo Harper in the BBC sitcom My Family is named after the fashion brand. In 2012, designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim unveiled a knitted sweater with a tiger graphic on it for Kenzo's Fall 2012 collection.[27][28] Leon wanted to make a sweatshirt version of the sweater for him to wear.[29][30] Despite initial resistance from Kenzo's design team,[31][32] the tiger sweatshirts became extremely popular, with the initial run of sweatshirts selling out within hours at Kenzo's Paris location.[31] Since 2011, the tiger shirt and clothing designed by Leon and Lim[33][34] has been worn by celebrities and fashion bloggers including Jay Z, Kevin Hart, Beyoncé, Zooey Deschanel, Swizz Beatz, Selena Gomez, Spike Jonze, Joan Smalls, Lorde, NorthernSound and Rihanna.[citation needed]

For the Fall 2014 collection, Kenzo collaborated with filmmaker David Lynch, who mixed the soundtrack for the show and provided a large sculpture.[35]

For the Fall and Winter 2016 collection, Kenzo produced the campaign film The Realest Real starring Laura Harrier, Mahershala Ali, Natasha Lyonne, and Rowan Blanchard, and directed by Carrie Brownstein.[36][37] Also in 2016, Sean Baker (The Florida Project, Red Rocket) directed a short film starring model Abbey Lee called Snowbird for Kenzo SS16.[38]

Collaborations edit

In 2016, Kenzo announced its collaboration with H&M. Kenzo X H&M collection was released on November 3, 2016.[39] The fashion house also collaborates with Inglot Cosmetics company, which manufactures make-up products.[40] On March 21, 2018, Kenzo revealed Britney Spears as the face of its new 'La Collection Memento No. 2' campaign.[41] The collaboration, marketed as #KenzoLovesBritney, features a variety of ready-to-wear nostalgic denim pieces for men and women.[42]

Brand Ambassador edit

Kenzo’s artistic director Nigo, who is known for his taste in music, has selected Vernon, one of 13 members of South Korean boy band Seventeen as the first global ambassador for the French house, announced in June 2023.[43]

Designers edit

References edit

  1. ^ "KENZO SA: Private Company Information - Businessweek". Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Kenzo". The Cut. Archived from the original on April 18, 2013.
  3. ^ "Kenzo Takada". British Vogue. March 26, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  4. ^ Hebe Dorsey (November 14, 1976), Fashion: Kenzo Grows Up New York Times.
  5. ^ a b Grace Cook (February 1, 2019), Kenzo Takada — the journey from ‘Jungle Jap’ to Kenzo Archived February 25, 2020, at the Wayback Machine Financial Times.
  6. ^ LVMH buys Kenzo apparel maker Archived June 30, 2020, at the Wayback Machine United Press International, August 2, 1993.
  7. ^ Janet Ozzard (September 18, 1995), Kenzo Store Aims To Build U.S. Presence Women's Wear Daily.
  8. ^ Suzy Menkes (September 18, 1995), Gilles Rosier: On to Kenzo International Herald Tribune.
  9. ^ a b Jessica Bumpus (December 8, 2008), The Marras Touch Vogue.
  10. ^ Belinda White (July 12, 2011), Kenzo gets a new design team amid rumours Antonio Marras is headed for Dior The Daily Telegraph.
  11. ^ Matthieu Protard and Astrid Wendlandt (May 21, 2010), LVMH says has no plans to sell Kenzo Archived June 30, 2020, at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
  12. ^ Pascale Denis (January 5, 2011), LVMH names new head of Kenzo Archived June 29, 2020, at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
  13. ^ King, Joyann (July 12, 2011). "Humberto Leon and Carol Lim Appointed Creative Directors at Kenzo". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  14. ^ Suhrawardi, Rebecca (March 29, 2018). "Kenzo: How Carol Lim and Humberto Leon Are Setting The Mark for LVMH Brands". Forbes. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  15. ^ Kenzo Plots Global Expansion Under New CEO Archived June 30, 2020, at the Wayback Machine Women's Wear Daily, September 9, 2017.
  16. ^ McCall, Tyler (June 14, 2019). "Carol Lim and Humberto Leon Exit Kenzo After 8 Years". Fashionista. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  17. ^ Joelle Diderich (June 14, 2019), EXCLUSIVE: Kenzo Parts Ways With Creative Directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim Archived May 31, 2020, at the Wayback Machine Women's Wear Daily.
  18. ^ Emily Mercer (August 28, 2020), Exclusive: Kenzo Introduces Kenzo Sport Line Women's Wear Daily.
  19. ^ Miles Socha (April 26, 2021), Kenzo to Bid Adieu to Felipe Oliveira Baptista Women's Wear Daily.
  20. ^ a b Miles Socha (September 15, 2021), Exclusive: Kenzo Picks Streetwear Guru Nigo as Its Next Designer Women's Wear Daily.
  21. ^ Teen, Vanity (January 23, 2022). "Paris Fashion Week Men FW22 Day 6: Kenzo, Wales Bonner, Sacai Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & New Faces Magazine". Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  22. ^ Testa, Jessica (September 15, 2021). "A Hypebeast Comes to the Luxury House". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  23. ^ "News - About The Brand | KENZO".
  24. ^ a b "Kenzo Stores | | KENZO".
  25. ^ Robinson, Roxanne (June 26, 2020). "Kenzo's New Soho Flagship: A Muted Opening In A Still-Recovering New York City". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  26. ^ Wightman-Stone, Danielle (June 30, 2020). "Kenzo unveils first boutique designed by Felipe Oliveira Baptista". Archived from the original on July 3, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  27. ^ Tashjian, Rachel (June 14, 2019). "A Requiem for the Kenzo Tiger Sweater". GQ. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  28. ^ Bumpus, Jessica (March 4, 2012). "Kenzo Autumn/Winter 2012 Ready-To-Wear". British Vogue. Retrieved June 29, 2020.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ Pinson, Laurel (November 21, 2012). "Anatomy of a Fad: How Kenzo's Tiger Sweater Sold Out in Two Days". StyleCaster. Archived from the original on July 1, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  30. ^ Alexander, Ella (September 11, 2013). "How Long Would You Wait For A Kenzo Tiger Jumper?". British Vogue. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  31. ^ a b Mdudu, Naomi (March 11, 2014). "Kenzo: It began with a simple sweater…". Metro. Archived from the original on July 1, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  32. ^ Bagley, Christopher (March 19, 2015). "Humberto Leon and Carol Lim Talk Style With Takada Kenzo". W Magazine. Archived from the original on July 2, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  33. ^ "Kenzo in Dubai". Mall of the Emirates. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  34. ^ "About : Opening Ceremony". Opening Ceremony. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  35. ^ Phelps, Nicole (March 2, 2014). "Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear: Kenzo". Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  36. ^ "The Realest Real - Autumn Winter 2016 Collection | KENZO". Kenzo. November 7, 2016. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  37. ^ Simpson, Ashley W. (September 14, 2016). "Kenzo Premieres Their Latest Campaign Film, The Realest Real". Vogue. Archived from the original on June 28, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  38. ^ Hustle, Indie Film (December 7, 2021). "Sean Baker's iPhone Short Film: Snowbird - Indie Film Hustle". Indie Film Hustle®. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  39. ^ Jensen, Nanna Bachmand (June 12, 2016). "Kenzo X H&M | Fashion News". Ikon London Magazine. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  40. ^ "About Inglot". Archived from the original on August 6, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  41. ^ Bobb, Brooke (March 20, 2018). "Britney Spears On Her Kenzo Campaign And How She Defines Mum Fashion". British Vogue. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  42. ^ Jensen, Erin (March 20, 2018). "Kenzo is getting a 'Piece of' Britney Spears, the face of its La Collection Memento No. 2". USA Today. Archived from the original on June 5, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  43. ^ "SEVENTEEN's Vernon is Kenzo's first global brand ambassador". NME. June 23, 2023. Retrieved June 23, 2023.
  44. ^ Klein, Arnaud; Courtois, Marie (July 1, 2019). "Felipe Oliveira Baptista quitte la direction artistique de Kenzo". Vogue (in French). Archived from the original on January 24, 2022. Retrieved September 28, 2022.

External links edit