The Fashion Folk S03 ep13 : Kenzo, Kenzo Fashion[Paris]

Interview with Kenzo

Kenzo's success started in 1970: during this year he presented his first show at the Vivienne Gallery; his first store, "Jungle Jap" was opened; and one of his models appeared in the cover of ELLE.[1] His collection was presented in New York and Tokyo in 1971. The next year, he won the Fashion Editor Club of Japan's prize. Kenzo proved his sense of dramatic appearance when, in 1978 and 1979, he held his shows in a circus tent, finishing with horsewomen performers wearing transparent uniforms and he himself riding an elephant.


01:24 - 01:45
I feel like I’m between an Artist and designer. I’m currently painting and I design of course,
La Mode - fashion and also do interiors.

01:51 - 02:23
I study in Tokyo of course for three year and I finished my fashion school and I then worked
for Hoyen in Tokyo – a Department Store for fashion and then I came to Paris because I
wanted to see real Paris fashion.

02:30 - 02:58
I came to Paris in nineteen sixty five and I opened my shop in nineteen seventy. I worked
only in fashion until 2000. After I stop fashion i began to interior design and i began to

03:04 - 03:29
Yves St Laurent and Pierre Cardin I met him in 1959 when I was still studying at school. He
came in Japan for the first time and he did a show. I saw that. Wow. In 1960 Yves St Laurent
and Pierre Cardin and Chanel of course.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

03:35 - 04:36
When I begin my shop part time 1970, I asked myself what in my Identity? I had no
identity. I was following each fashion season, I didn’t copy, but I following, and when I
open my shop I ask myself: What is my Identity? I thought. I'm Japanese I know better
everything that was from Japan than a French designer so I say, I must show more
Japanese ideas and Japanese fashion of course. So I mixed Japanese culture with French
fashion but with a Japanese touch and culture - Kimono taste, helped enormously.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

04:43 - 05:57
When I came in 1965 in Paris, I came looking for a job. Everybody told me: a job for a
Japanese designer – no. After six months I had to go back to Japan. I try just before I go
back to Japan – I did some drawings, and I showed the designer Louis Feraud and he
bought my design. That gave me confidence and in the same week, I went to Elle magazine
and they bought my designs and they gave me many other addresses so I can sell more of
my designs. So I went everywhere, to six or seven [fashion] houses and at one house I found
my job. Nowdays this house does not exist, it’s name was Byzantium House of dress design.
Only dress . I wanted to stay in Paris for the fashion and Paris lifestyle.

Jewellery Theatre Elements

06:04 - 06:17
Now fashion has become more important in life, even more than in 1965. Fashion is in all
the magazines, fashion is in all the newspaper. Everything is fashion.

06:22 - 06:49
In one side I'm very Japanese. One side very zen. one side very French, ver bon vivant. The
Japan side of my personality is very Zen, very simple and the French side very flamboyant.
Both sides rub together.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

06:56 - 07:11
My idol was Yves St Laurent . I met him. I knew him. For me he stayed number one.
07:18 - 07:49
France, Paris help me a lot. That was my dream. When I began I was only hoping to own
one small shop. For me, that was very good. But my dream became much bigger than that.
In 1970 it was crazy. I say myself not possible.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Kenzo, Kenzo Fashion, Paris