I’m really torn about this new Kenzo x H&M collaboration. A few feelings:
– I understand the pros for each brand in a relationship like this, but let’s be honest, H&M may have made significant changes to add sustainable measures, yet is inherently fast fashion. A partnership is somewhat debatable. A lot more to be said on that, but we will save for another time.
– Kenzo is a dream label for me. Owning that sweater is quite unachieveable right now ( even after my endless eBay stalking and hoping ), but modifying for the general population detracts from the preciousness and pleasure in my eyes. The brand becomes more of a commodity and less of an illustrious desire.
– Everyone will be wearing the same thing. And that’s just boring. Or hilarious, given that the collection appears to be made up of full body tiger-striped jumpsuits. Maybe it’s the ultimate test to see how ridiculous and desperate consumers are, while the business guys sit up there cackling at the things they can so easily convince us to do.
But Kenzo himself, as a designer, is / was an extremely creative and boundary-pushing man. Initial collections made use of scrap materials ( sustainable fashion’s initial purveyor? ), and integrated runway models from a multitude of backgrounds in a time when diversity was scarcely celebrated.
The Japanese native first set up shop in Paris, amongst the greats, in 1970, amplifying the bohemian, free look with structural twists inspired by his homeland. His looks took off around the world in the years to come, and the label is now preparing to celebrate it’s 50th anniversary. Kenzo started with jungle prints, and never stopped.
It’s difficult to keep a brand alive for such a long period of time in this competitive / crazy market, yet alone remain true to the original inspiration and motifs, but Kenzo has somehow managed. Even my disapproval of the H&M collaboration cannot outweigh the fact that this is once again Kenzo through and through, taken to the potential extreme. Let’s relish the classics for a moment.