Bold stripes, swirling, chintzy florals, geometric patterns and folkloric scenes were Takada’s signatures, blended together in pieces inspired by his native Japan, the American Mid-West and South American art. They earned him the “Jap wrap” moniker for their cumulative, heaped-on styling quirks and the idiosyncratic ties and drapes that characterised the label’s silhouette.
The label, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010, was founded by Kenzo Takada and originally known by the name of the Parisian store from which he sold his clothes: Jungle Jap.
Today Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are the toast of the fashion world for resurrecting the Parisian label, Kenzo. Lim and Leon have created such a feverish cult-like desirability for all things Kenzo that they’ve reignited the trend for logos, created a new fashion icon in the Tiger sweatshirt and struggle to keep their hottest items on the shelves.
“We discovered Kenzo by shopping in vintage stores, as well as reading magazines,” says Humberto Leon. “The fabrics, proportions, prints and colour were always elements that stood out to us. It was as if the clothes had their own personality.”