French fashion brand Kenzo teased us with their new collaboration with H&M for Fall 2016, when this collaboration was announced in early spring, it sparked huge excitement in all of us. Following the success of H&M’s Balmain campaign we couldn’t wait to see what fashion powerhouse Kenzo could bring out.
Kenzo is well known for their bright prints with explosive pops of color inspired by Asian patterns mixed with European charm. Japanese designer Kenzo Takada was born in Japan and moved to Paris in 1964 to start his fashion career. As of now the brand is with the capable hands of head designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim.
Judging by the teasers released, this collab is all about animal prints (with a twist of course - you won't find these neon-colored animals in the actual jungle). The brand is no stranger to being creative with prints, having previously released a line called "Tokyo Tigers", which as the name suggests features a bright tribal print of a tiger's head. Maybe inspiration is being taken from the big cats of Asia?
While celebrating this collab, H&M is also evidently trying to make a statement on diversity. Below are the first three looks from the collection, modeled by "a variety of artists, young creatives and activists, each an ambassador for this Kenzo X H&M".
Isamaya French (make-up artist, based in London and part of the London-based collective, Theo Adams Company) wears "an oversized leather jacket with pink faux Shearling lining, with matching tiger print jersey rollneck top and high waisted leggings". Ok, that print? Probably a little hard to wear out of the house. But that jacket looks pretty amazing.
Oko Ebombo (musician and performance artist, based in Paris, front-man of the band 19) wears "a parka with removable printed collar, block colour tiger-print jeans, plus the padded flip-flops with tabi socks. Oko also wears the tiger-printed cap with attached scarf, a printed woven scarf and the tiger-printed cross-body bag". A quirky ensemble that screams "I'm an artist", and I'm not sure if those socks with flip flops are entirely practical.
Amy Sall (student and activists, based in New York, founder of SUNU: Journal of African Affairs, Critical Thought + Aesthetics) & Juliana Huxtable (artist, poet and DJ, 28, based in New York) both wear "tiger print jersey rollneck tops and matching high waisted leggings along with long black leather gloves with pink logo rubber print and jacquard knitted tiger-sock shaft boots". If you're looking for attention, here is your new go-to outfit. Those BOOTS will make you feel like the pink panther. And those industrial and slightly sadistic-looking gloves? People will buy them because it's Kenzo and affordable.
The collection will be available in over 250 selected H&M stores worldwide, as well as online, from November 3.
H&M Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay Flagship Store, G01-F01, Hang Lung Centre, 2-20 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.
Photography by Oliver Hadlee Pearch, all courtesy of H&M.