When it comes to brand introductions, there are a few more obscure names which might need highlighting in order to draw public attention to them. Kenzo is not one of those brands. Kenzo, which started out as a humble attempt to create fashionable designs with minimal resources has since exploded into a worldwide brand of perfumes, skincare products and clothing. The clothing lines themselves are not only designed for women, but also create items for men as well as the Kenzo Kids collection for fashion-conscious children. And while the brand name Kenzo might well be on its way to becoming a household word, the story behind them is less well known.
Kenzo is the brainchild of Kenzo Takada who would go on to name his brand after his own first name. Born in Himeji, Japan, Takada developed an affinity for fashion and clothing at an early age and would routinely read through his sister’s magazines in order to fuel his passion and curiosity. After studying for a brief period at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Takada went against the wishes of his family and dropped out, choosing instead to enroll in the Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo in order to pursue a career in fashion. He earned his diploma and moved to Paris with the idea of placing himself in the center of the fashion world so that he could be closer to all the significant players, events and shows of the fashion industry.
Kenzo: A Collection is Born
As a struggling designer, Kenzo Takada had very little money and so couldn’t afford the type of fabrics he needed to bring his designs to life. As a consequence he spent a lot of time at flea markets, sourcing different cuts of cheap and vibrant fabrics which he would piece together in order to make a single garment. It was this ingenuity which launched his first collection and would go on to be the defining features of the Kenzo brand - bold colors mixed with varied striking and clashing patterns. He introduced Paris to designs that fused vibrant floral patterns crossed with traditional kimonos and Japanese folk costumes.
Kenzo Takada’s first line that shot him to fame was a collection of handmade womenswear in 1970 which he showcased at the Vivienne Gallery. Not long after that his first store was opened, and his clothing was shown on the cover of ELLE magazine as well as in New York City and Tokyo. His success continued unbridled and in 1983 he released his first menswear collection. In 1988 Kenzo Takada turned his attention to fragrances, and he began to manufacture perfumes, the first of which was Kenzo de Kenzo. In 2001 Kenzo continued to move from strength to strength, launching a skincare line which firmly cemented its products in the public eye, showing that Kenzo is a brand that is varied, respected and of high quality.
It’s this quality which is evident in every garment produced by Kenzo, whether it’s menswear, womenswear or a garment belonging to Kenzo Kids. Aside from the bold colors and striking patterns, Kenzo is also famous for its distinctive tiger and eye logo which is widely used on sweatshirts and other products. On top of that, Kenzo is also known for their colorful bags and backpacks, tank tops, pleated shorts, knitwear and oversized shirts. This style reflects Takada’s original designs while also incorporating the influence of Paris street style, skate culture and digital art. It’s for the above reasons that we love Kenzo Kids and see it as a brand to watch and wear this summer.
While Kenzo Takada officially retired in 1999, his brand is still run diligently by his team of assistants. This hasn’t had any negative effects on the fashion house, and Kenzo has continued to produce quality clothing and collaborated successfully with a number of major brands such as H&M and Tiger Beer.
An offshoot of the brand’s other clothing lines, Kenzo Kids is a range dedicated entirely to young fashionistas who are interested in the latest in cool and colorful clothing. Anthill stocks a large variety of Kenzo Kids’ apparel for both boys and girls in a number of different styles, so if you’re in need of some summer styling, look no further!