I am sure you have heard of the brand Kenzo; a brand no stranger to many Asian regions and some US states. A brand where luxury perfumes and cosmetics dwell. Well, Kenzo is also a well known brand for clothes. Its designer Kenzo Takada is the man behind the masterpieces that has graced many runways from Tokyo, Paris and Milan. He has retired in 1999 but has made dotted appearances in entrepreneurial designs made for home and living.
Kenzo Takada’s (高田賢三 Takada Kenzō, born 27 February 1939 in Himeji, Japan) love for fashion developed at an early age, particularly through reading his sisters’ magazines. He shortly attended the University of Kobe, where he felt bored and eventually withdrew, against the will of his family . In 1958, he joined a fashion school, Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College, which had then just opened its doors to male students.
After earning his diploma, he settled in Paris in 1964, not without adaptation problems. He was trying to gain a place in the fashion environment; attending shows, making contacts with the media and selling sketches.
Kenzo’s first designs started because he could only afford to buy his fabrics from flea sales. Most of these fabrics were scraps, the remains of grandmothers sewing baskets. as a result Kenzo had to mix many bold fabrics together to make one garment.
Kenzo’s success started in 1970: during this year he presented his first show at the Vivienne Gallery; his first store, “Jungle Jap” was opened; and one of his models appeared in the cover of ELLE. His collection was presented in New York and Tokyo in 1971. The next year, he won the Fashion Editor Club of Japan’s prize. Kenzo proved his sense of dramatic appearance when, in 1978 and 1979, he held his shows in a circus tent, finishing with horsewomen performers wearing transparent uniforms and he himself riding an elephant.
His first men’s collection was launched in 1983. In 1988, his women’s perfume line began with Kenzo de Kenzo, Parfum d’été, Le monde est beau and L’eau de Kenzo. Kenzo pour Homme was his first men’s perfume (1991).
Since 1993 the brand Kenzo is owned by the French luxury goods company LVMH.
Kenzo Takada announced his retirement in 1999, leaving his assistants in charge of his fashion house. In 2005, he reappeared as a decoration designer presenting “Gokan Kobo” (”workshop of the five senses”), a brand of tableware, home objects and furniture.
Check out Mr. Kenzo’s brand’s website: Kenzo