The exuberant Japanese icon that drove French fashion with his unmistakable flair, passes at age 81, but his curated K三 (that's K3 but with a Japanese Kanji) home collection, and remarkable couture brand KENZO, live in infamy.
Words by: Spoorthi Satheesh
photos courtesy of K三
On October 4, 2020 in a Paris hospital, a man whose bright smile and joyful personality became the hallmark of his ever-popular style, creative genius Kenzo Takada sadly departed from our world.
It's a tremendous loss indeed... one of many we've experienced this year. But while the novel coronavirus has brought nothing but gloom to 2020, our spirits are lifted by revisiting Kenzo's fun-filled, vibrant body of work.
Born into a family of seven children in 1939, the artist took his awe and wonder for his sisters’ sewing and turned it into a prolific international career that never ceased to celebrate fashion with a zest for life. What was initially intended as a six-month trip to Paris in 1965 became a lifelong dwelling for the designer. French fashion had a new look, Japanese fashion was brought to the world of couture, and the rest is history.
Known for his unregulated sense of style, which permeated his work with a flavorful recipe of vivid colors and inventive geometric, floral and animal designs, Kenzo presented his label "Kenzo" in the 1970s.
"Fashion is like food, you shouldn't stick with the same menu," said Takada, who then
went on to realize his love for interiors, furnishing his various residences with a daring marriage of Western design and Eastern aesthetics inherited from Japan. Along with various other endeavors and collaborations, he set out on a new adventure with his brand partner and long-time CEO Jonathan Bouchet Manheim, and Engelbert Honorat, Kenzo's creative assistant, and put together K三 (or K3), an exquisite luxury brand that is all about the art de vivre, or the art of living.
The new luxury home brand, first revealed at its showroom at Saint-Germain-des-Pres, boasts a curated range of seats, sofas, tables, rugs, textiles and home accessories that honor Takada's heritage with a contemporary twist. Turning once again to Kenzo-esque geo patterns and quirky take on nature, K三 Home boasts three prominent themes: Sakura, Maiko, and Shogun.
FUN FACT: As part of the brand’s visual identity, most pieces bear a kintsugi mark, a tribute to the Japanese savoir-faire.
As the name suggests, Sakura is a translated with gorgeous cherry blossoms and wrapped in a delicate palette of pink and yellow, and a touch of gold. The intricate floral motifs, along with the tranquility they bring, makes this group my personal favorite.
Maiko, marked by fun, organic shapes, reflects the youthful spirit of Japanese women, truly divas in their own right. After all, their signature red and pink kimonos and striking makeup are beyond compare, are they not? Apparently, Kenzo thought so.
Shogun, with provocative, classic monochromes of black and ivory, plus sword-sharp geometrics, makes a sophisticated statement for the design warrior. Slice, dice, slay!
And now, the pieces...
Inspired by "Ikebana" - the Japanese art of flower arranging - this TABLE IKE is a low ceramic table that doubles as a vase.
And as for actual vases, the AKA VASES are poised to show off your flair for floral design.
But if subtlety is more your cup of tea, these HANATABA VASES are an elegant combination of Japanese design with French craftsmanship.
K三 CUSHIONS - luxurious and versatile
K三 's HANAT-SUGI POUFS provide a party-ready seating solution. (sake, sushi, and spirited guests not included)
And turn you eyes to the screens... never will they fade into the background.
Kenzo wouldn't have it that way!
Kenzo Takada's imagination has profoundly influenced our world. He will be sorely missed, but may his spirit continue to shine bright within the walls of your home.
For more about K三, visit: k3.com