The house of Kenzo has launched a new collection that combines the aesthetics and prints of two legendary designers – the brand’s founder Kenzo Takada and his famous fellow Japanese creator Kansai Yamamoto. The collection is a blend of Takada’s celebration of nature intermixed with Yamamoto’s Animalia obsession, paying tribute to the two designers’ similarly exuberant vision of fashion. The results are a selection of punk-inspired pieces adorned with feline artworks by Kansai Yamamoto.
Yamamoto, who dressed David Bowie on his Ziggy Stardust tour, died in July this year; while Kenzo passed away in October. The house of Kenzo launched the posthumous collab with a snappy video following a group of young Parisians: actors, photographers, and models wearing the collection, which is entitled Kenzo x Kansai Yamamoto.
“When I joined Kenzo in July 2019, I immediately started thinking about artists, designers, and creatives with whom I wanted to collaborate. One of the first ideas I had was a collaboration between Kenzo and Kansai Yamamoto. Although their body of works is very different, the links and common traits between the two are manifold,” explained Kenzo’s creative director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista.
In effect, the two Japanese designers ignited a giant wave in fashion when they first moved to Europe as young men; Kenzo Takada to Paris in the late 1960s and Kansai to London in the early 1970s; pioneering the fusion of Eastern and Western cultures and leading a path followed by other Japanese talents.
Both Kenzo and Kansai referenced the animal world in their work: Kansai with multiple pops and manga interpretations and Kenzo with a more celebratory party-time twist. All told, there are 30 womenswear items, 25 menswear items, along with 22 accessories, ranging in price from €105 to €1,050.