Kenzo Takada misses the buzz and excitement of hosting fashion runway shows.
The Japanese-French designer founded Kenzo in Paris in 1970, where he built up a reputation for creating garments which merged Asian influences with European construction, such as brightly printed dresses and sweatshirts with tiger motifs.
Takada sold the label to Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) in 1993, but still keeps an eye on trends within the fashion industry, and admits he often feels nostalgic for some aspects of the business.
“I’m a little bit nostalgic about the fashion shows and energy behind them,” he told Fashionista.com. “And what I miss most is the people working in fashion. They have a lot of fantasy; they’re really creative and joyous.”
Since announcing his retirement in 1999, Takada has pursued a career in art and interior design. The 78-year-old has even just travelled to the U.S. to promote the launch of his colourful collection of furniture, which was created in partnership with high-end retailer Roche Bobois. As well as pillows, vases, rugs and ceramic stools, Takada also reinvented the brand’s iconic Mah Jong sofa.
“I wanted to continue to work, but at less speed,” he said of his decision to continue working on creative projects post-Kenzo.
At present, Kenzo is run by Opening Ceremony helmers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. Their iconic tiger sweatshirt and clothing has been worn by celebrities including Beyoncé, Zooey Deschanel, Selena Gomez and Rihanna. For their most recent Fall 2014 collection, they collaborated with filmmaker David Lynch, who created a labyrinth-style set and mixed the soundtrack for the show.
While Takada doesn’t have any control over the company any longer, he is still interested to see what the co-creative directors send down the runway.
“They bring something very young, streetwear, very easy, casual,” he praised. “Something contemporary.”