“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…
- Josephin Ritschel presents architecture and its surroundings as a stage for storytelling
- Gender, sexuality and male identity as seen through the lens of Jorge Perez Ortiz
- Gab Bois transforms things we’ve seen a thousand times into something spectacular
- Aysha Tengiz on her joyous, colourful and slightly depressing illustrated scenes
- Satellite photography, drawing tools and interactive logotypes feature in Double Click September
- Lego reveals first brand campaign in 30 years, Rebuild the World
- “All you see is lazy photography everywhere”: Martin Parr discusses his career, Brexit and obsession
- The work of Xiangyu Liu is weird and fantastically unpredictable (some NSFW)
- Caterina Bianchini Studio designs a dog-themed identity for a conveyer belt cheese restaurant
- Ikea invites people to “try on” Virgil Abloh furniture collection at LFW
- Hans Findling on his experimental and multidisciplinary approach to design
- Introducing the It’s Nice That Graduates of 2019!