“As the story goes, the young Kenzo Takada left his job cutting patterns at a Tokyo department store in the mid-1960s to try his luck in fashion in the French capital. When he arrived in Paris in 1964 he had no money, little command of French, and no contacts to speak of, but his characteristic wide-eyed wonder served him well.
“For a couple of years the Japanese designer sold drawings and designs to retailers to get by. Paris was in the midst of its new wave, populated with avant-garde writers, philosophers and thinkers, but the fashion world remained enamoured with the grand couture houses that had flourished in the post-war years. So when in 1970 Kenzo opened his first store, Jungle Jap, and filled it with innovative ready-to-wear designs created from flea market-bought swatches and elaborate prints in flamboyant colours, he quickly drew a clientele intrigued by his exotic approach…”
There’s more to this story of course, and as the fortunes of KENZO have risen, fallen and then risen again a raft of creative talent has passed through the company’s offices, building on Takada’s legacy. Which is exactly what we explore in the rest of our KENZO profile in the latest issue of Printed Pages…
- Hey presto, it's Best of the Web!
- Paris-based Studio Jimbo creates "impact and power" with punchy poster designs
- Minju An's oddly sinister illustrations depict strange characters and floating bread
- Friday Mixtape: Warpaint's Glastonbury picks
- Karifurav Caihua’s weirdly erotic Japanese-inspired illustrations
- High octane Nike China animation gets kids to wear their bandages as a “badge of honour”
- “Evolve or die”: Bloomberg Businessweek creative director Rob Vargas on the magazine’s redesign
- Southbank Centre visual identity redesigned by North, to be a “confident masthead” for the institution
- Photographer Khadija Saye has died in the Grenfell Tower fire, her family confirm
- The Buzzfeed redesign: UK art director Tim Lane talks us through his seven-month overhaul
- Alex Norris’ hilarious three-panelled webcomics are universally appealing
- Fresh Yale grad Franci Virgili applies an academic approach to graphic design