Paris, France


Kenzo Takada



LVMH – Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton


Sylvain Blanc




Kenzo is a French fashion brand founded in 1970 by Kenzo Takada, born in Japan and moved to Paris in 1964. Owned by the luxury conglomerate LVMH, the label is known for its Asian influence on traditional European designs, delivering borderless fashion that celebrates cultural diversity.

The house’s blend of prints, elegant colors, and signature motifs adorn everything from tees and sweatshirts to accessories and homeware and has been adopted by celebrities and fashion icons from RihannaBeyoncé, and Lorde to Michelle Obama and Jay-Z.

Takada was the master of mix-and-match aesthetics. He distinguished himself from his rivals in Europe with his designs – a completely square-cut sweater. We can see these boxy shapes intertwined in his collections to this day.


Kenzo Takada, born in a small village in Himeji, Hyogo, Japan, in 1939, traveled to Paris after studying at Tokyo Bunka Fashion College with the desire to become a fashion designer.


Kenzo opened his first boutique called Jungle Jap, located in Paris at Galerie Vivienne. Its walls were decorated with jungle-inspired interiors based on Henri Rousseau’s painting “The Dream” (1910).


After presenting his 1971 fashion collection, one of Kenzo’s collection pieces appeared on the cover of Elle Magazine, rising interest of international buyers which propelled his success.


After international exposure, his success grew. Kenzo Takada opened more independent shops across the world, including one in St Tropez, two in Germany, and one in New York.


Kenzo renamed Jungle Jap store to KENZO after a backlash regarding the name from the US audience.

1983 - 1988

Takada started out by designing only Kenzo women’s clothing. Years later, the Kenzo men clothing line was added, including Kenzo Jeans and Kenzo Jungle brands.

On the design side, he had great success with his 1983 collection, in which he mixed vibrant prints and checks, played heavily with flower patterns, and incorporated Kimono cuts and his trademark, the iconic tiger print.

Expanding on the womens clothing line, Kenzo kids and homeware line called K-3 are added to the assortment in 1987.

Followed by fragrances in 1988, with the most notable one being flower by Kenzo perfume.


Takada’s clash with his then-current business manager led to a takeover of the KENZO clothing brand by a large fashion conglomerate, a luxury goods seller LVMH. The brand was acquired for around $80 million. Takada stayed on as the head designer, developing the brand’s fashion direction.


Kenzo retired – six years after the brand was sold to LVMH.

1999 - 2003

1999 to 2003 was a new chapter in the brand’s creative direction when Gilles Rosier took over designing the Kenzo women’s collection, and Roy Krejberg oversaw the Kenzo men’s clothing, later Gilles took over the whole house as a head designer.

2003 - 2008

After Gilles Rosier, Antonio Marras is appointed as the new artistic director of Kenzo, looking after accessories and ready-to-wear ranges. A year later, the first collection launched under his artistic direction, presented in Paris. Similarly to Takata, he drew inspiration from different cultures, and his creations reflect multiculturalism and identity.

2008 - 2011

Marras is appointed as the new creative director overseeing the entire collections and Kenzo brand. However, by the end of 2011, the brand was barely profitable, making an estimated $197 million a year.

2012 - 2019

Humberto Leon and Carol Lim become co-creative directors of the brand.

While browsing through Kenzo’s design archives, looking for a new design element for a fresh take, they discovered a small tiger printed small on some items. They designed knitted jumpers with large tiger prints that appeared in the Kenzo FW12 collection, following a huge success.

Later, tiger print sweaters and t-shirts got added to the collection and were spotted on numerous celebrities, including Rihanna and Beyoncé. After which, the iconic tiger motif became one of the most well-known prints of Kenzo clothing.

The era also brought various collabs, including Vans x Kenzo in 2012, Kenzo x H&M in 2016, and Britney Spears as the face of Kenzo’s La Collection Memento No. 2′ campaign.

After eight years at Kenzo, after the duo’s SS20 show, Leon and Lim both parted ways with the brand, citing a focus on developing their own clothing line as the main reason for stepping down.


On the 4th of October 2020, Kenzo Takada, aged 81, passed away from Covid-19-related complications at the American Hospital of Paris, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

2020 - 2021

In 2020, LVMH appointed a new creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista.

The brand takes a new direction abandoning streetwear classics like Kenzo tiger print T-shirts and sweats, focusing more on vivid colors and clean silhouettes, paying homage to Takada’s DNA and aesthetics.

Baptista also launched a new sportswear collection Kenzo Sport, adding both men’s and womenswear. However, merely after two years, the Portuguese designer stepped down.


In September 2021, KENZO appointed Nigo as their new artistic director, starting a new era for the brand.

Nigo is a Japanese streetwear fashion designer and DJ, most known for his clothing line, A Bathing Ape® (Bape).

In an attempt to appeal to the younger generations, LVMH hired Nigo to bring back streetwear influence.


Nigo soon presented his first KENZO drop – “Boke Flower Collection” for SS22.

Soon after, Nigo’s first FW22 debut collection launched, featuring kimono fabrics and bomber jackets.

His most recent SS23 collection clearly defined his new vision – a blend between Kenzo’s legacy designs and Nigo’s contemporary streetwear styles.

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