KENZO X H&M – the long awaited collaboration that’s as dynamic as the fashion industry itself caused quite the uproar (No pun intended). Once you take away the thrill, and the clothes off of the floor, and tuck in the price tags between past purchased receipts, not to mention how much of a haze that Thursday morning was, the Kenzo for H&M collection was an experience that blended in perspectives, anxiousness, and unexpected happenings.
Planning on how the day was going to carry itself out a month ahead, Ali Al Najjar and I started our day off at around 4 AM – If that doesn’t obviously entail that we’re hardcore Kenzo enthusiasts, then I don’t know what will. I’d like to carry on, and tell you what happened, but I myself am unaware of the things that did – Let me just say that I passed out because of my low blood sugar, and the happenings of the prior week taking a toll on me.
Regardless of that, let’s just say that Ali and I, as well as Muneera Bubshait managed to get amongst the first group of shoppers, got the items that we needed, I STRESS on needed, met interesting individuals with perspectives on the collaborations that H&M has with high end designers, and it just so happens that I was the winner of the social media competition that H&M Bahrain had.
What does that entail? More statement pieces to put in my closet, and I without a doubt was enthralled about that.
Apart from the boldly printed t-shirts, textured pants, embroidered logos on the sweaters, and the life that they withheld – the general reaction to the collection was noticeably different than the previous one. Kenzo’s flared tunics, and textured knit sweaters, weren’t Balmain’s bejeweled blazers, and satin draped skirts – it was a different crowd, and the items catered to a different taste, not everyone understood that. What the shoppers needed to put into perspective was the difference within the brands visual concept and it’s iconography.
Being within the Middle Eastern market, let me just say that the tastes are endless, and they change like the weather. In spite of that, the markets views towards the H&M collaboration items aren’t always perceived as something that could be collected, passed on to the next generation, archived, or even be a representational item that reflects on how fashion is, or was in a certain period of time.
It’s not just an ordinary H&M item, it’s not just an off the rail piece, it’s more than that. It’s a piece that tells a concept, a story, and how it’s reformed to fit into our modern day. Kenzo Takada woud’ve been proud of Carol Lim, and Humberto Leon, not just based off of the many collections that they have worked on for Kenzo, but also for the show that showcased the collaboration collection.
It portrayed an exact visual replication of a page straight from his book. Looking back at Takada’s shows, way back into the ‘70s, and ‘80s, there was often dancers, performers, and scenario’s that were applied, and that’s what the duo made sure of displaying. “We try to give everything a true authentic story,” Leon said of the show. “We’ve always been diverse, we’ve always been inclusive . . . we’re not doing anything to be on trend. This is just how we’ve always done it.”