“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…
- Photographer Eli Durst's series Pinnacle Realty challenges stereotypes of suburban America
- Grace Miceli’s bold and playful illustrations re-interpret brands in humorous ways
- Tsto returns to design Flow Festival's identity, pushing and playing with its typography
- Rosie Yasukochi's vibrant comic reflects on post-generational trauma
- Patrick Kyle's helpful advice on how to start out at illustration fairs
- "Don't drink and dance in front of your peers": ten creatives on their biggest mistakes
- Crayola launches a makeup range based on its ubiquitous crayons
- Portfolio tips from top studios: what to leave in (and out) and how to get noticed
- The Graduates 2018: Should I get a job or go freelance?
- All internships are not created equal: how to spot the best opportunities and have the courage to reject the duds
- Erik Spiekermann brings five unfinished fonts from Bauhaus design masters to life with Adobe
- Why counter-culture matters: Rough Trade launches publishing venture designed by Craig Oldham