Prior to their epic dance-party runway show, KENZO designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon sat down with H&M‘s Creative Advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson at a press conference to discuss the inspiration behind the collaborative collection. Speaking of the initial concept for the partnered range, Leon explained that Lim and himself treated the collaboration as a great opportunity to pay tribute to the brand’s founder, Kenzo Takada. The duo revisited some of the company’s archival pieces from the 1970s and the early 1980s, and modernized the designs with their own original prints. As Leon stated:
I think Carol and I try to take every opportunity to remind people that Kenzo Takada did some things that were truly amazing. In 1969, he was really, really the only not only Japanese designer, but the only Asian designer to really break into the Parisian fashion scene. We’ve never wanted people to forget that.
When asked what it was like to work with one of the world’s biggest fashion retailers, Lim expressed her excitement:
We worked very closely together to create it. That’s the beauty. [H&M] understood we wanted to create something where both the fans of KENZO and the H&M customer are going to feel so surprised with the value of what they’re getting. They pushed themselves.