Trained at Bunka College, enrolling just as male students were allowed admission, and later moving to Paris in the 60’s, Kenzo Takada became one of the eminent designers of the 70’s. He channeled the decade’s new take on relaxed and luxurious clothes akin to what Donna Karan and Halston were creating in New York. Although he is rarely given the credit, it was Kenzo who brought Japanese cutting to European fashion, ahead of Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto.
Along with soft eastern silhouettes, Kenzo designed with enthusiasm for vibrant colors and prints, often inspired by ethnic motifs and styles. Yet, in the 80’s, as fashion grew harder and more structured, Kenzo found his carefree style left behind in favor of designes by Gaultier and Montana. The label was sold to LVMH in 1993 and is now designed by Antonio Marras who recently took up the position of creative director, overseeing both the women and mens RTW. A look into the archives and Takada’s oeuvre reveals the prescience of his au natural and soft style, a multi-cultural/ethnic reality fit for an increasingly urban world.