Taking the phrase “new year, new you” to heart, Kenzo is starting the decade with a logo makeover. Considered an “update” of the original logo and not a completely new form of branding, July-appointed creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista describes the reincarnation as “a reference to the past that enables the opening of a new chapter–a new way of writing the future.”
“The brand’s spirit remains enthusiastic, nomadic and open to the world, honoring the universe of its founder Kenzo Takada,” explained the French Maison in a release. “Breathing fresh energy into Kenzo’s legacy, the updated brand logo features a new graphic, contributing to the very signature of each collection. The Kenzo logo, designed as a construction game, becomes a crucial part of the brand’s visual identity, as its ability to be transformed leaves room for creative expression.”
The decision to amend Kenzo’s distinctive typography hails from a design perspective. “The original logo, now facelifted, can be animated and can then become the departure point for abstract designs,” said Baptista. “The intention is also for this updated logo to be a part of a graphic concept by becoming more subtle.”
Famous for its sweatshirts, caps, and the like emblazoned with their logo each season since its fall/winter 2013 debut, there’s no doubt a Kenzo creation is instantly recognizable the world over. While it may not have originally had the eminence of longtime fashion labels founded many decades prior, Kenzo quickly became a universal status symbol upon its start in the 70s and soon joined LVMH under an umbrella of the industry it list. Inspired by the rich culture of his Japanese heritage and other parts of Asia, Takada brought unique regional influences to his eponymous designs that stood out in the saturated European market, including his signature flower print that has since transformed into an embroidered tiger under the former direction of duo Carol Lim and Humberto Leon.
Fast forward to today and Kenzo has established its contemporary aesthetic with vibrant nature-themed patterns and monochromatic activewear accompanying the iconic wildcat in the closets of international style icons from Alexa Chung and Rihanna to former US First Lady Michelle Obama.
Whether or not the revised logo is to appear on the t-shirt dresses, jackets, and scarves of the often sold-out Kenzo Logo collection is yet to be discovered, but the foundation of a new chapter in Kenzo’s history is being built under Baptista. “This is the basis of a new brand language and the care of integrating it into its clothing designs,” said Baptista, adding that “the updated logo is becoming an integral part of the style of the brand’s new designs.”
Just as Kenzo set the standard for 21st Century logomania amongst the luxury fashion houses, time will tell if it will also herald a new generation of updated logos from the who’s whos of the sartorial world.