The Kenzo FW21 collection marks a bittersweet moment for the brand, the first without its creator; Kenzo Takada.
Takada’s passing in October 2020 was a big loss to the fashion world. As one of the most proficient Japanese designers, Takada’s work is lauded throughout the industry. Creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista wrote a letter to introduce the collection, pondering the question; “how to transform the grieving into something positive, joyful, free?” Baptista did this by creating a collection that celebrates Takada’s designs and influence.
Kenzo’s collection combines Takada’s style with a more contemporary approach, mixing the brand’s usual bright designs with modern cuts and styles. Models shimmied down the runway in bold multicoloured outfits, with oversized scarves leading the line. Traditional Japanese imagery is used throughout in the forms of landscapes, flowers and birds. The footwear seen in the collection had a nostalgic 90’s feel, presenting chunky snow boots in a range of colours. Worn with patterned jumpsuits and elongated capes, it paid homage to Takada’s initial vision for the brand.
This collection is not a eulogy for Kenzo Takada, it is a celebration of his life’s work. Baptista’s designs reimagine the archives of the brand, presenting a collection that is not only visually appealing but filled with the vibrant looks that Takada spent his life perfecting.
You can watch the full show here.