Kenzo Fashion And Style

Learn about the Kenzo designer label, including history, fashion and style.

If you have been around fashion for any length of time you know the name Kenzo.Kenzo has been a name on catwalks since the earliest part of the seventies creating a stir with his modern interpretation of Japanese design.

Trained at Tokyo's Bunka Fashion College, Kenzo became one of the first male students at the college.Originally called the Namiki Dressmaking School, the institution was opened in 1919.In 1957 the college, since named Bunka Fashion College, began allowing its first male students.Coinciding with this momentous event, students at the college began showing in the Paris collections in the sixties.

One of the first male students accepted at Tokyo's Bunka Fashion College was Kenzo.Because his parents did not approve of his choice he was forced to work and go to school at the same time, preparing for six months before being accepted at the college.This determined focus got him where he is today.

Once he made the move to Paris in the mid 1960's, there was no stopping the talented designer.By 1970 his determination paid off once more when he opened his first boutique, "╦ťJungle Jap.'


Place yourself in the haute couture of Paris in the 1960's and you will come to understand that outsiders were not welcome.Along comes a Japanese designer who absolutely charms and electrifies the fashion world.

Kenzo, not knowing the language and having little money, managed to make his debut and open his first boutique within five years of arriving in Paris.He made a huge step toward changing the fashion scene in Paris and opened a new path for designers to follow after him.

In the beginning his design statements were steeped in traditional Japanese design with a focus on the kimono.His garments fell into the hands of the younger set and created worldwide appeal when he began using the "big silhouette".The modern look mixed East and West sensibilities and revolutionized fashion, as we know it.

Always with a feeling for the exotic and the fun, Kenzo has appealed to audiences for over thirty years.His mixing of culture and fashion was highly unconventional in the seventies.Today it is commonplace, which leads the Kenzo design label to search for more enlightening interpretations of East and West together.

Over the years Kenzo has dared to combine the look of traditional costume with the ever present need to be Western, at times mixing tweed with a kimono style jacket and crop pants for a modern women's suit or combining men's western tailoring with sarong and eastern flourishes.Kenzo continued to move further into experimenting with layers and pattern.Full of color and culture, he is very much the instigator of "costume" fashion.

Always an original and a trendsetter, Kenzo moved his style into the home furnishings market.His approach there remains full of color, simple shapes and an original mix of the traditional and the folkloric.

Although retired from the design world in 1999, Kenzo will forever be known as the first designer to mix cultures in fashion.The modernity he brought to fashion arrived in a barrage of shapes and colors and layers that have affected the public long after their introduction.Kenzo collections will continue to be produced by the assistants and fashion houses he has worked with in the past.

Kenzo style is all about freeing the obligatory lines of fashion and culture and creating a new world.Retirement has not meant an end to design for Kenzo.You can see his designs popping up as costumes for opera and stage.There is no stopping Kenzo style.

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