The collaboration between KENZO and H&M have resulted in a celebration of print, colour and self-expression. In coming up with the collection, creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have selected archival prints by founder Kenzo Takada and reinvigorated them on new menswear classics such as sweatshirts, hoodies, bombers and parkas. The result is a series of looks are unique to H&M, playfully mixing colour, print and texture to express true freedom in fashion. The key themes of the collection are;
Prints from the KENZO archive are used as inspiration. A faux fur hoodie clashes with the famous KENZO tiger stripe in different shades with a new animal mix print, while an over-the-head faux fur drawstring waist sweater in green tiger stripe is like a fun take on the outdoor fleece. There’s also Carol and Humberto’s medallion print used on an orange T-shirt or as the patches and intarsias on a ribbed knit sweater, as well as their mesh print, like the one in green on a black scuba hoodie, with a hand-sewn beaded logo at the chest.
A new patchwork logo adapted from the archives that reads KENZO JUNGLE PARIS, the letters in a circle around a KENZO tiger has been specially created for KENZO x H&M. In the men’s collection it appears on a series of sweatshirts, either black, cream or in a clashing animal print, as well as on T-shirts. It’s also patchworked onto the back of many pieces, such as the black padded zip-up leather jacket.
Carol and Humberto are famous for putting their own twist on pieces that fit perfectly into people’s wardrobes. For KENZO x H&M, a reversible nylon print bomber has been extended with its own zip-off panel, meaning it can be worn in so many different ways. A neat black bomber, meanwhile, is reversible, with the green mesh print on the other side. There are new takes on the parka, either in khaki with a removable printed collar, or padded denim with printed zippers as horizontal trims to seal the pockets. Meanwhile the khaki overshirt is turned into a jacket with medallion print lining and an inner pocket, and a cotton poplin shirt is given new presence in blue and green animal print with an orange-print sporty zip for fastening.
There’s an intricacy to the collection, where every detail has been thought through. A black T-shirt is hand-beaded with a repeat pattern of the KENZO tiger, while a sweatshirt is hand-beaded with a large tiger and the slogan JUNGLE KENZO. Zips are a key detail, like the silver tiger head zipper pull on a padded down jacket, as well as the printed functional zips that define the horizontal quilting around the body. With jeans, whether they’re in a specially woven jacquard of the animal print, printed in block colours of the tiger print, or a solid black skinny fit, each pair features a logo leather patch that reads KENZO JUNGLE PARIS, and a flag tab on the back pocket.
Grab attention with high-octane accessories from KENZO x H&M that mix fun with functionality. Logo patchwork baseball caps sit purposefully high on the head to make an exaggerated, rounded silhouette, while a backpack comes in the mesh print with straps in tiger stripe. Chelsea boots have a chunky rubber tread sole in green, while tiger stripe padded flip-flops can be worn with tiger stripe tabi socks. Finish with a printed woven scarf, as well as wallets and neck strap holders in either mesh or animal print, and you’ve got the full KENZO x H&M look.
KENZO x H&M will be available in H&M Lot 10 and Avenue K on 3 November 2016.