No one expected the Kenzo x H&M launch to be anything but loud and proud. And was it ever.
The evening show, held in New York City at the far-flung Pier 36, turned the volume (and vogueing) up to a 10. Under the art direction of Jean-Paul Goude, a merry band of dancers and even a drum line were all kitted out in the brand’s signature blaring mix and clash prints.
The star-studded audience included Sienna Miller, Rosario Dawson, Iman, Spike Jonze, Joe Jonas, Elizabeth Olsen and Lupita Nyong’o.
“We wanted to do something super special,” Kenzo’s co-designer Carol Lim told Footwear News after the show. “We took pieces from the archive that we’ve never really put in our collection and wanted to have a dialogue between what we’ve created and what Kenzo Takada created.” Of course, this being Kenzo 3.0, most of the collection was wildly recolored animal patterns of every size and stripe.
The shoe styles shown included a quirky comfort sandal (styled with socks), stretch zebra boots (done as an ankle bootie and over-the-knee version), and cropped rubber wellie boot with neon lug sole.
Was Lim at all worried about Goude’s lively dancers being able to groove in the more precarious heels?
“We designed the shoes first and just worked with it,” said Lim of the footwear, most of which had bright rubber soles for traction and splash. “By asking Jean-Paul Goude to creative direct, it really evolved into a collaboration between the three of us come to life.”
Even though this was the launch of a mass collaboration for a fast fashion retailer, which lands in more than 250 stores worldwide on Nov. 3, bold individuality was a central theme of the show. With the “Express Yourself” soundtrack by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band as well as models and percussionists vogueing to the beat, the deadpan runway strut has no place in Kenzoland.
Click through to view the collection highlights.