KENZO PFW SS17 and KENZO X H&M COLLABORATION
The provocative brand showcased its extravagant SS17 womenswear collection around a large pair of nude bodily forms of literally all kinds and colors at the magnificent Museum of Architecture on Plaza Trocadéro in Paris.
Lots of 80’s disco inspired forms and structures, shoulder pads, large puffs, T shirt dresses and cool puffed rocker blouses, lots of ornate embellishments and serious statement accessories (oversized earrings and metal spiralled bright coloured pumps) were key pieces that blew us a way from the very minimalistic slash andro-chic look that we’ve been overly seeing for the past few seasons on the runways.
Wearing Keepsake The Label and The Mozaik Bag, KENZO Show PFW
Moreover, only approximately 2 weeks later after is RTW SS17 show and its recent Disney collaboration, the brand also launched its highly anticipated capsule collection KENZO X H&M in NYC directed by fashion and art icon Jean Paul Goude, who also himself created a fun Lacoste capsule collection for SS17re-interpreting the Lacoste alligator and its meaning.
The affordable Kenzo collection is an inferno of wildness street style youth. It mixes a lot of fetishism inspired looks such as the Japanese iconic Zentai or Kimono with subtle hints from the 80’s such as ruffles skirts, unisex oversized XL 90’s bomber jackets, statement logos and its soon to be iconic Zebra prints in all colors and materials (especially in light velvet and lycra). An enlightening splash of strong colors, jungle fever and flamboyant styling to the campaign just makes you want to try all the looks out, even their much cheaper version of their Tiger Kenzo shirt!
However, although I believe the collection is commercially very strong representing their strong revamped image of Jungle Fever, it is very hard for the average person to wear, but I think it will definitely speak to the press.
With Kenzo’s seventh store in Shanghai only, there’s no doubt that Kenzo (LVMH) is seeking to cash in on China where its biggest stunt was the Kenzo Tiger and its K logo sweater that became a must have item at one point.
But Kenzo was not always drawn to extravagant street style pop culture, I remember in the late 90’s and early 2000’s (with Antonio Marras) Kenzo was this sophisticated granny like french*BoBo floral brand what was very free spirited and « Granola », it was not very interesting for the young consumer where it was known as ‘my grandma and aunt wear’ type of brand. Today, the young creative duo, Carol Lim and Humberto Lean (founders of Opening Ceremony), completely transformed the brand into an extremely youthful look for the millennial generation receiving an industry applaud for their work. However, the brand went so far out from their original brand image that look back for me this is no longer Japanese-French Chic of Kenzo.
*BOBO = Bourgois Bohème Chic
Kenzo Campaigns from the late 1970’s to early 2000’s
Kenzo Pop Art 2013-15 Campaigns
Just before entering the Kenzo show, I bumped into a Parisian fashion professional and owner of a boutique luxury handbag brand, for coffee, where her opinion really resonated with me,” Although you think KENZO is French, no one in Paris wears it anymore, its only geared towards the Asian market , I wonder how long this is going to last. What will happen when Kenzo’s biggest market, Asia, realizes that we don’t buy from this brand anymore? Will it become a fad?”
Yes this is actually a point that cannot be overlooked, as we know, most Chinese travelers go overseas to buy the newest luxury goods, and that’s a simple fact due to the high taxes and fees we must pay in China for the same goods. However, what will happen when they realize that a historical French brand has sold itself to commercial street style trends in pressure of making sales once it was bought by LVMH, doing cross-over after cross over leaving their old loyal clientele far behind them? Is this something brands ought to do or instead should they protect their brand image and value on a long-term basis?
Kenzo Today : H&M X KENZO(Oct 19,2016) (AW/16)
I’m not sure if there is a right or wrong answer to this question, but maybe a strong balance between trends, design, and commercial success is important. I guess easier said than done.