Kenzo fever hit us like a ton of bricks. After settling into the subtle simplicity that came from the popularised Scandinavian labels, we had gotten used to a lacking of logos and bold branding on our clothing. Who would have thought it would have been a sleepy 80s brand that slapped us in the face with some strong branding and got us to don their logo on our chests like the proud tiger that lays before us. Kenzo is back and it’s got bite.
Like many things that were introduced in the 80s; perms, boom boxes and cabbage patch dolls, Kenzo didn’t stay at the top. Not many trends last the test of time, most either need a major upgrade (boom boxes became i-tunes on your phone and a set of Beatz) or get put out to pasture. Thankfully Kenzo was not one of those. Californian creative duo Carol Lim and Humberto Leon came to the rescue. The founders of Opening Ceremony stores and their in-house label, have resurrected Kenzo and turned it back into the hottest menswear label out there.
Kenzo Takada created his namesake brand in the 70s after moving from his home in Japan to Paris. In ’83 he launched his first menswear collection and it hit the ground running. It combined floral prints and ethnic designs with this West meets East vibe. It was bold, it was unique, it was over the top and it was hugely popular. Takada retired in 1999 and the brand went into a quiet slumber. Still present but the hype wasn’t there anymore.
Any fashion enthusiast or vintage collector would probably have heard of it and took an interest in it’s resurgence. For those who weren’t, Kenzo hitting the scene in 2011 was less about revival and more about the new ‘it’ brand. Kenzo has the ultimate cool factor. Firstly, it’s logo is a tiger. Secondly, it’s CEOs seem to have a sixth sense and know exactly what people actually want to wear. And thirdly, it’s really hit the nail on the head when it comes to modern design. We all know streetwear has hugely influenced fashion and the sweatshirt has made a massive comeback as the most popular item out there.The embroidered tiger print Kenzo sweatshirt is their biggest seller, lasting no more than a few hours on a shop floor. Perhaps there’s a sense of synchronicity about an 80’s brand being thrust back into the limelight by a style that was iconic to it’s own era….Maybe it was just fluke. Either way we’re chuffed to be stocking it this season and don’t expect it to stay on the rails too long. The collection is limited to our Bath, Bristol, Bournemouth and Southampton stores.