Kenzo Closed Paris Fashion Week With An All-Asian Cast, Celebrating The Brand's Heritage

"We felt like it would be really beautiful and poetic."

Paris Fashion Week ended on a high note when fashion brand Kenzo presented its spring 2018 men's and women's collection with a cast featuring all-Asian models. This show not only symbolized a positive step toward more diverse representation on the runway — a spring 2017 Fashion Month diversity report showed only 7 percent of the models featured in New York, Paris, Milan, and London were Asian — but was a celebration of the brand's own heritage. 


The cast featured 80 models who were flown in from places such as China, Japan, Korea, and Taipei.

Kenzo Creative Directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim explained on Instagram that they "felt like it would be really beautiful and poetic to cast a full Asian cast and celebrate the heritage of the brand." 

The Paris-based luxury brand was founded by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada in 1970 and quickly became known for mixing Asian and European influences. The creative directors revealed that the cast reflected these roots. 

The runway show was also inspired by Japanese musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, and the late actress and model Sayoko Yamaguchi, who also served as a muse to Kenzo himself. As a tribute to them, the show was presented at the Lycée Camille Sée in Paris, not just as a runway show, but as a two-act play with music and acrobats. 

Lim and Leon pointed out to Vogue that Kenzo and Opening Ceremony have previously had shows that were political, addressing such issues as climate change and immigration, but this collection was a reflection of the brand's muses and about celebrating happiness. They stated, "I think we use our platform so instinctively for different reasons, and [this time] we just wanted to use it for joy."

See more pictures from Kenzo's spring 2018 runway show:

(H/T: Out)


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