“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…
- Manshen Lo creates surreal, comic-inspired observational illustrations
- “To me, being a man just means being yourself”: five creatives share their thoughts on masculinity
- Hexatope: the web-app utilising computational arts to make personalised jewellery
- Lucy Hardcastle on her “most progressive film to date”
- Moby Digg creates grid-based identity for finance company Baugeld Spezialisten
- Typography and National Socialism – the journey of Futura in an era of "reactionary modernity"
- Peter Funch has photographed the same people on the same street for nine years
- DBLG and Animade’s cheeky stop-motion animation uses human skin and 3D stamps
- “It needed to be functional, a workhorse”: Arket’s in-house team on its brand identity
- Get to know the fluid work of graphic designer, Steffen Hotel
- Fukt magazine presents the erotic drawings of David Shrigley, Tracy Emin and many more
- Poster Girls, an exhibition of 150 female graphic designers opens at London Transport Museum