“As the story goes, the young Kenzo Takada left his job cutting patterns at a Tokyo department store in the mid-1960s to try his luck in fashion in the French capital. When he arrived in Paris in 1964 he had no money, little command of French, and no contacts to speak of, but his characteristic wide-eyed wonder served him well.
“For a couple of years the Japanese designer sold drawings and designs to retailers to get by. Paris was in the midst of its new wave, populated with avant-garde writers, philosophers and thinkers, but the fashion world remained enamoured with the grand couture houses that had flourished in the post-war years. So when in 1970 Kenzo opened his first store, Jungle Jap, and filled it with innovative ready-to-wear designs created from flea market-bought swatches and elaborate prints in flamboyant colours, he quickly drew a clientele intrigued by his exotic approach…”
There’s more to this story of course, and as the fortunes of KENZO have risen, fallen and then risen again a raft of creative talent has passed through the company’s offices, building on Takada’s legacy. Which is exactly what we explore in the rest of our KENZO profile in the latest issue of Printed Pages…
- Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer: the Stein sisters’ heart-warming film on child ballroom stars
- Three female art directors on collaboration, competition and confidence
- Pooneh Ghana’s ambient crowd and artist portraits from Pitchfork Music Festival make you wish you were there
- Julian Glander explains what a blockchain system is for MIT Technology Review
- “It’s a process of baby-making”: designing the horrific and hilarious multiverse of Rick and Morty
- Pouya Ahmadi uses typography to “bridge the gap between poetry, performance and space"
- The Sky Sports rebrand features bespoke type and refined logos across nine channels
- Rick and Morty’s Exquisite Corpse trailer features 22 animators including Simon Landrein and Bendik Kaltenborn
- Larry Hallegua captures sun worshippers on Pattaya Beach in Thailand
- Applicants to UK arts and design university courses declines by over 14,000 this year
- Michael Bierut designs new brand identity for the Poetry Foundation
- Design, Revolt, Rainbow: the pioneering work of graphic designer Willy Fleckhaus