So Humberto Leon and Carol Lim may have successfully turned Kenzo’s tiger emblem as a shorthand for the brand ever since they resurrected that vintage motif for the brand’s F/W ’12 collection. But the animal — which is now plastered on everything from caps to plimsolls — just skims the surface as to Kenzo Takada’s deep penchant and flair for you-can’t-miss-it and in-your-face prints in his body of work.
For its latest and fourth La Collection Memento capsule collection (it was started in 2017 to fete the house archives and Takada’s vision) for women and men, the brand rewinds back to its menswear show in 1992 and discovers another print that has an equally big visual impact. The Memento pieces are available at the Marina Bay Sands store from today.
As a result of mining that 1992 collection, Leon and Lim ended up using the vivid hyper-real prints of red and yellow tomatoes which displayed Takada’s tongue-in-cheek side, passion for food, and entertaining. These plump fruits end up as large motifs on archival smock dresses and mesh shirts, as well as newer designs like T-shirt, totes and sneakers.
As for the well-loved tiger? The duo turned to another influence from the same 1992 collection for inspiration in this Memento outing. An airbrushed tiger print from that era appears on cotton poplin shirts, sweaters, and T-shirts for him and her. Call it a fitting homage to a print which has been a big part of the brand’s lexicon ever since Takada opened his first Parisian boutique Jungle Jap in Paris in 1970.