Translated by
Barbara Santamaria
Jul 24, 2019
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Kenzo Takada presents latest Avon collaboration in Colombia

Translated by
Barbara Santamaria
Jul 24, 2019

On his second visit to Colombia, the Japanese designer who has been based in Paris for over 50 years, presented his latest fragrance and makeup collaboration with Avon to the local market. Kenzo Takada was one of the special guests of the 2019 edition of Colombiamoda, where he joined a panel talk on brand extensions and branching out into new product categories.

The Japanese designer was in Colombia for Colombiamoda - Fashionista

The designers’ latest collection for Avon features a highly pigmented colour palette and two fragrances bearing the KT signature after his initials. For the second consecutive year, Avon was the official beauty sponsor of the Colombian fashion event, and presented on the first day the Mark range of lipsticks in unusual colours, as well as an eyeshadow palette featuring metallic and pearly tones.

Speaking in a polite and confident manner, Takada told FashionNetwork.com that people in Colombia are like people in Japan: very friendly and uncomplicated. He praised the colourful appearance of local cities and fashion, speaking about his visits to Bogotá and Medellín, as well as the two shows of emerging talent he witnessed on the first day of Colombiamoda.

The designer, considered one of the first Japanese designers to make it big globally, spoke candidly about his beginnings. Kenzo Takada moved to Paris in the mid-1960s when the fashion industry was thriving. He was seduced by haute couture, its creativity, intricacy and craftsmanship, and began his career by selling sketches of his designs to fashion houses while becoming friends with other designers such as Yves Saint Laurent.

“One summer, we were both in Tangier, I was at a friend's house and Yves Saint Laurent was in the city. He was staying in own house, spectacularly decorated by Jacques Garant, and he came to have dinner with us every evening. One day he invited us over and before serving food, he said we should go to a restaurant because he thought dinner would not be perfect. His greatest fear was imperfection and vulnerability, he was very shy, just like me,” the designer recalled with a laugh.

A few months after selling his first sketch to a local designer, Kenzo opened his first store in Paris. ‘Jungle Jap’ was a colourful and fresh new concept, considered revolutionary at the time, which paved the way for the creation of his own brand.

Nearly 24 years after establishing his fashion house, the designer chose to sell his empire to luxury fashion group LVMH in 1993 with a view to retire. But his creative mind knows no time off and since his final departure from the brand in 1999, he has continued to collaborate on various projects, art exhibitions and perfume collaborations, going on to design costumes for opera productions.

“I need an occupation and above all, something that excites me, that awakens my senses,” Takada said, adding that his costumes will be in this fall’s production of Madama Butterfly in Tokyo, which will tour Europe from September.

Further, the designer offered his views about Humberto León and Carol Lim, who are stepping down from their role as creative directors of his namesake brand, saying he shared an excellent personal and artistic relationship with them. The designer frequently attends the fashion shows of the brand, which under the direction of the design duo, continued to embody the spirit and creative DNA of its founder.

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