Kenzo: widely copied rule-breaker who shook up Paris fashion

Okayenzo Takada enriched and expanded what Paris fashion could possibly be. Arriving within the metropolis from Tokyo as a younger designer in 1964, he introduced with him the tastes and traditions of his native Japan and expanded the horizons of the French fashion world.

One of the primary male college students to be admitted to Tokyo’s Bunka fashion faculty within the late 1950s, he pioneered an exuberant and experimental use of quantity, print and color that didn’t conform to conventions of masculine and female clothes.

As a penniless younger designer in 1970, Kenzo made his first assortment out of the one materials he may afford – blended bolts of low cost cloth, purchased in bulk from a market in Montmartre. He blended the prints collectively, making a patchwork of florals, stripes, checks and graphics which was to turn out to be his signature. His eclectic, rule-breaking aesthetic struck a chord, and was widely copied. By the center of the 1970s, his catwalk reveals have been stadium-sized occasions, besieged by followers trying to realize entry, usually operating three hours late and with a rock music soundtrack. His glamorous purchasers included Bianca Jagger and Catherine Deneuve.

Kenzo’s transfer from Tokyo to Paris was the catalyst for a succession of Japanese-owned fashion homes in Paris, which have been massively influential on fashion up to now half century. Issey Miyake and Kansai Yamamoto arrived in Paris within the wake of his success. The roll name of youthful designers who his work has influenced contains Dries Van Noten and Marc Jacobs.

Kenzo bought his model to LVMH in 1993, and retired in 1999. Since 2019 the model has been designed by Felipe Oliviera Baptista, who offered his most up-to-date Kenzo assortment a number of days in the past.

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