With the launch of La Collection Memento Nº1, Kenzo designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are writing a new chapter in their six-year-tenure at the storied fashion house founded by Kenzo Takada in 1970. Memento n. 1 marks the first of a new series of collections that cull from the house’s rich archives.

The starting point was a crop of vivid floral prints that appeared in the house’s bold and inventive ad campaign shot in Lanzarote by image maker Hans Feurer with iconic models Iman and Soyoko wearing the 1983 collection. Prints of lions, elephants and wild animals were juxtaposed over the images, challenging the boundaries of fashion ad imagery of that time.

To wit, the duo worked bursts of flower motifs predominantly in fiery red that spruced up anything from puffer jacket to padded kimono jackets, from fluid dresses with a Seventies vibe to colorful socks.

The sharply-edited collection is fresh and casual, an unusual interpretation that taps into the past while looking ahead. In the process, Leon and Lim celebrated the winds of novelty, the Japanese vibe and the influence that Takada brought to the budding French fashion scene when he moved to Paris in the late Sixties.

“Since joining KENZO in 2011, we have sought to honor the house’s legacy by channeling its original spirit, colors, language and Kenzo Takada’s boundless energy. By introducing KENZO – La Collection Memento N°1 we want to tell the history of the house with a collection where each chapter celebrates its rich archives,” say Leon and Lim.

Other inspirations for the debut collection are knitwear and dresses from Fall 1981, a wool beret from Fall 1971 that informed the women’s tailoring and the high collars on ruffled smock dresses.
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