H&M creative adviser Ann-Sofie Johansson, and Kenzo creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, tell SARA WEE why the Kenzo x H&M collaboration is worth queueing up for – and what their favourite pieces are.
From left: Silk dress, $399, silk top, $119, silk shirt, $139, silk scarf, $59.90, and viscose boots, $399; polyester and wool coat, $399, wool turtleneck, $79.90, wool leggings, $79.90, and viscose boots, $399.
As most of you should already know, French fashion house Kenzo is Scandinavian highstreet label H&M’s new guest design partner. When you hear “Kenzo”, you think tiger stripes and exotic silhouettes, boldness and optimism – you think “life of the party”. Since its inception in 1970, the Parisian label has been renowned for its use of vibrant, contrasting colours and clashing prints. “We love to give our customers something completely new with each of our designer collaborations. We can’t wait for everyone to experience the world of Kenzo for themselves at H&M,” explains H&M creative adviser Ann-Sofie Johansson.
OFF-THE-SHOULDER TOP & LONG TIERED SKIRT
“Many people don’t realise that Mr Takada was a very romantic, flirtatious designer, so I’d pick something like the off-the-shoulder singoalla top with the long tiered skirt.” – Humberto Leon From top: Kenzo creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. Polyester top, $119.
DOUBLE-BREASTED LEATHER COAT
“I can’t wait to wear the doublebreasted leather coat with the pink faux-shearling collar. It’s got such an amazing oversized shape that’s like a cocoon on the body. I’m going to want to wear it all winter long.” – Ann-Sofie Johansson Sheep leather coat, $549.
Kenzo creative director Carol Lim is looking forward to wearing this tiger-print shirt with frilled collar and cuffs. Silk shirt, $139.
This dungaree dress is one of Ann-Sofie Johansson’s favourite picks. “It is so playful and is all about the fun of fashion.” Silk dress, $399.
“I love pieces like the reversible kimono coat, which is going to look so great worn day or night,” – Ann- Sofie Johansson Silk kimono, $449.
From top: Kenzo creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon.
The vibrancy, fun and playfulness associated with Kenzo comes through in a collection full of vivid prints, feminine details and playful silhouettes. A huge part of the creative directors’ time was dedicated to recreating label founder Kenzo Takada’s signature pieces – such as reversible kimonos and a leopardprint tiered ribbon dress. “It was amazing going through the archives and spending some time with his work. He was an incredible designer who broke all the rules of fashion, and it was so much fun recreating that sense of freedom for Kenzo x H&M,” muses Carol Lim.
Kenzo Takada’s love of diversity and inclusivity was not forgotten, as seen in the collection’s lookbook images, and the campaign shot by French photographer Jean-Paul Goude. Instead of hiring professional models, they brought together influential icons from outside the field of fashion – like hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper, activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, and poet Juliana Huxtable. “We believe that fashion should be open to everyone. We’re so happy that we’ve been able to use Kenzo x H&M to give artists and activists a platform, so they can inspire a new generation around the world,” Humberto Leon tells us.