Text by: Riccardo Slavik
Jungle Jap, which opened its doors in Paris in 1970, was Kenzo Takada’s, first store, the colorful, exciting space he launched his first sporty and fun collections from. Famous for his carefree mix of fabrics and inspirations, sport and ethnic influences, the Japanese designer quickly became an important voice in the Parisian fashion scene and a presence in its nightlife. Since joining the house in 2011, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have brought it back to its original DNA with collections full of bold colors and vivid prints, an eye for sportswear and street style, artist collaborations and creative digital campaigns. Their collaboration with H&M is further proof of the way they push forward the legacy of the house with a knowledge of its history but an eye to the present and the future.
An explosion of prints, colors and layers, the KENZO X H&M collection is a perfect example in how to bring a fashion house’s evolution to the general public. Launched in NY with a fashion show and event art directed by Jean Paul Goude which featured dancers, beatboxers, whistlers and musicians, the collection mixes jungle, sportswear and folk in a fun, energetic way.
Taking inspiration from Takada’s mix & match attitude (which originally wasn’t quite a choice as he had to source his fabrics from flea markets) the designer duo of Lim and Leon paired colorful animal prints, floral patterns and folklore dresses, romantic ruffles and neoprene, bold colors and prints, some even on the same item as many are double-face.The collection also includes a wide range of accessories like elbow-length gloves, flat brim baseball caps, flip-flops, ankle boots, sunglasses and shopping bags.
“Kenzo, as a brand, has such a rich and fascinating history, it can be hard to determine what exactly we have changed. With our new collections, we hope that we have injected the brand with a youthful spirit and a sense of fun and cheekiness.’’ Leon has said a year after they started designing for the house, ‘’ But we also want to respect and preserve the traditions of the Kenzo house, such as the importance of prints and the sense of worldliness and travel that has been intrinsic to every collection in the history of Kenzo.” Their collaboration with H&M might not be the ideal wardrobe of the retiring flower, but it shows their impressive grasp on the delicate balance between modern attitude and brand heritage.
The KENZO x H&M collection will be available in over 250 H&M stores worldwide, as well as online, from November 3, 2016.
Jungle Fever Credits:
Photographer: Lorenzo Marcucci
Ass.Photographer: Francesco Anglani
Styling: Riccardo Slavik
Hair & Make up: Elisa Rampi using Ghd
Marie Clopterop @TheFabbrica
Lidewij @Brave Model
Golo @Fashion Model
Morris Pendlebury @indipendent model
Retouch: Stefano Sciuto
Location: Mandarin Oriental Milano
Mandarin Oriental, Milan Via Andegari, 9 – 20121 Milan, Italy www.mandarinoriental.com/milan