Meet the maker: Kenzo Takada, artistic director

Kenzo-Takada-in-paris-showroom

I started my fashion brand Kenzo in Paris in 1965 and it reached a global audience, eventually being sold to LVMH in 1993. Since I left in 1999, I have ventured beyond fashion and collaborated with many firms across different industries.

Now I’m the artistic director of K-3, a new luxury home and lifestyle brand that has input from many remarkably talented craftsmen, manufacturers and developers. K-3 is a colourful ode to life where my vision is brought to life through chairs, sofas, tables, rugs, bed linens, home textiles and accessories.

Inspired by Eastern and Western aesthetics and with modern twists, most pieces in the K-3 collection bear a kintsugi mark as a tribute to Japanese savoir-faire. The collection has three principal themes: Sakura, Maiko and Shogun. The first, Sakura, is inspired by nature. It creates a feeling of harmony and tranquillity with intricate floral motifs and has hints of gold and a subtle pastel palette of pink and yellow.

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Next, with vibrant reds and pinks illuminated with touches of gold, is Maiko. It blends geometric lines and organic shapes, echoing the delicate and refined spirit of the Maikos – young Geishas in the making who are renowned for their kimonos and their delicate red and white makeup. Lastly, Shogun evokes solemnity with its dramatic black and ivory monochromes, conveying modernity and sophistication.

There are similarities with fashion in that I have to start off finding inspiration. I get this while travelling, watching a film or even just being in a conversation with someone. I then take all of these inspirations and try to create a coherent collection out of them. I search for harmony among them. I need to find the main colour palette and the main fabric, and decide what kind of textures to use. This need to find visual homogeneity remains the same, but the technical part and the timeframe are very different.

You have to keep in mind that what you create should never go out of fashion – it should reflect the current time but also the future. Essentially, that means we have to imagine pieces that are timeless and that can fit any interior, while still bringing fantasy, poetry and positivity through colour.

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