If the name Kenzō Takada doesn’t ring bells immediately, we can only assume that you’ve been living under a rock since 1970. 

Founded in the wake of 'Jungle Jap' – a boutique in which Takada sold his seminal designs, pioneering the see-now, buy-now format – KENZO has left its mark on fashion history for its subversive approach to the world of Haute Couture. Combining East-meets-West style codes of traditional Japanese kimonos artfully melded with typically Parisian influences, the namesake designer’s progressive approach forged a completely idiosyncratic house aesthetic. 

Be it via bold colour clashing, seemingly ‘haphazard’ layering or experimenting with volume and tailoring, the KENZO raison d’être has always been to defy expectation; it’s thanks to Kenzō Takada’s revolutionary approach that high-fashion has never been the same. Now, with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon at the helm, the KENZO legacy lives on.

After some 20 years in the making – beginning life in 1999 in collaboration with the brand’s longtime friend Kazuko Masui, only to then be assumed by her daughter, Chihiro Masui following her death – Kenzo Takada, the book, arrives ahead of the label's 50th anniversary, to recount and reveal the illustrious career of the storied designer. You may have seen the runway extravaganzas; but what you haven’t seen are the wads of sketches (built up of some 350 drawings) that informed such captivating creations.

It's time to discover the psyche of the man behind them, once and for all...

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