There was a lot of anticipation for Felipe Oliveira Baptista’s debut for
Kenzo, especially after the designer decided to skip men’s fashion week in
favour of Paris women’s fashion week, and the introduction of a new logo
that was designed to “write a new chapter in its history”.
Baptista, who succeeded Carol Lim and Humberto Leon as creative director
in July 2019, is looking to the fashion house’s founder Kenzo Takada for
his debut collection, centring around the journey from Japan to Paris that
a young Takada took, combined with his own childhood memories and love of
travel, like a dialogue between the current and former creative
In the show notes, Kenzo explained that this journey is “through style,
and a continued passageway between two designers. Two personalities blend
and their common points shape a wardrobe of convergence. United in culture,
their dialogue takes root in Paris, the fantasy capital of fashion.
Emotional reference points converse and come together.”
Entitled ‘Going Places’ the autumn/winter 2020 co-ed collection is all
about wanderlust and the concept of a “nomadic spirit” who is “sheltered by
their clothes” and the idea of a “mobile wardrobe that heralds urban
elegance and metamorphosis, transforming itself with fluency” as well as
taking inspiration from the cross-cultural heritage of the brand.
This was showcased with an elegant yet practical wardrobe of clothes
that the designer said were designed to be “lived in” from reversible coats
that went from monochrome to printed, while cocoon dresses expanded with
zippers, down jackets looked like they could be transformed into sleeping
bags, and then there were protective details like blankets styled under
hats and utility belt bags.
Kenzo ushers a new era with debut Felipe Oliveira Baptista
There is a fluidity in the collection, from the nature-inspired colours
and patterns including a camouflage print that was created from a
trompe-l’oeil of roses to the combination of Japanese inspired flat kimono
shapes combined with Parisian cuts to create silhouettes that allowed
freedom of movement, highlighted by the parkas that “spread out like
The collection definitely showcased a new era for the brand, this isn’t
a fashion brand stuck in the Nineties with colourful sportswear appeal,
there wasn’t a tiger sweatshirt to be seen, however, the Kenzo tiger was
still featured but in a more elegant way, with flowing capes printed with
collages of tiger paintings designed in collaboration with the late
Portuguese artist Júlio Pomar.
This is a new approach for Kenzo, one in which that embraces elegant,
functional and innovative design geared at widening the appeal of the
brand, not just internationally but also opening up the fashion house to
more than just targeting young consumers.
Kenzo is stating that is no longer just the fashion house of the youth
but for the “wanderers of life”.
The fashion house also highlighted the need for sustainability in
catwalk shows, noting that its modular transparent tubular structure, which
was constructed on the lawns of the Institut National de Jeunes Sourds,
would be re-used in other forms at events in the coming seasons, such as
pop-up stores or presentations, and that it was “committed to recycling the
set” by transforming it into new objects.
Images: courtesy of Kenzo