We are excited to share KENZO – La Collection Memento N°2 with everyone. Kenzo Takada launched Kenzo Jeans in 1986 by taking eastern principles and fusing them with western, American material. It’s the resulting aesthetic we celebrate tonight. Today as Asian-Americans, we are excited to honor this historic collection and modernize it through our own eyes.
We take archival elements and rework them with summer staples such as swimwear and Hawaiian prints but always with a Japanese touch. Kimono details are seen throughout the collection with traditional sleeves and wrap belts. We look at raw indigo as well as a samurai red denim. In men’s we look at two styles: a heritage cut and a carpenter jean. For women’s we propose high-waisted jeans as well as a workwear companion. Taking cues from original labels featuring The Great Wave off Kanagawa as well as the original flying tiger, the denim celebrates the past while maintaining the fusion originally proposed. Vintage KENZO prints such as the bamboo tiger and bamboo stripe appear on reversible Hawaiian shirts, dress, anoraks, and rayon shirts.
For accessories, we propose nylon patent knot bags in jade, samurai red or black. Recalling the collection, backpack, bum bags and totes come in durable denim. Braided leather totes, obi belts and sun hats round off the summer silhouette. Unisex jellies and sandals appear in vivid sunrise yellow, tan, peony pink, jasmine white or black.
As Americans working at a French house on a denim collection, we can’t help but talk and think about all our amazing memories of running around in our favorite jeans. These conversations take us to where we are today as parents living in America.
This collection being a mix of inspirations from Asia to America, is a tribute to self-expression. For us, as Americans, now more than ever, it’s time to celebrate diversity and free-thinking.
Carol Lim & Humberto Leon