Kenzo's Humberto Leon Tells Us About Folio 1 and How He Avoided Cultural Appropriation

Kenzo’s most current campaign is the do the job of Nigerian filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr and photographer Ruth Ossai. While the two hadn’t worked together before, both equally had garnered praise for their do the job that seemed into id, particularly Nigerian id. In earlier interviews Ossai has spoken about how she was infatuated by the energy of images and the way it captures times and convey to tales. Davies Jr’s directing do the job has normally been interested in the identical themes as Ossai, but approached it by means of the moving graphic medium.

Fashion and art are bedfellows, so it is no surprise that Kenzo tapped the two to do the job on its most current campaign, supplying them totally free rein to shoot the assortment in an ecosystem congruous to both equally of their do the job. The duo chose to foundation the campaign close to ceremony, concentrating on the indigenous Igbo communities of southern Nigeria, naming the ensuing photographs “Gidi gidi bu ugwu eze,” that means “unity is energy.”

Kenzo celebrated the launch of this campaign in London not too long ago, with NTS delivering a set and an immediately after occasion with Kelela carrying out. Also in city was Humberto Leon, co-founder of Opening Ceremony and co-artistic director of Kenzo, and we caught up with him about a assortment of subjects in the middle of the packed and bustling occasion.

Why Kenzo Chose Akinola Davies Jr and Ruth Ossai

Kenzo Folio 1 Campaign

The very first question we requested was simply just why he preferred to do the job with Ossai and Davies Jr. “Number just one, I’m a fan of their do the job,” before detailing that he most well-liked to use Kenzo as a “platform” to showcase the do the job of interesting creatives. “It’s exciting to convey on new men and women, new stylists, and new photographers to look at the clothes,” clarifies Leon. “I’m not a fan of showing a look on a runway and then advertising and marketing with particularly the identical look. You have all these different mediums, so you must allow men and women go at it and see it in a different expression.”

This different expression also ties into how Leon and Carol Lim have dealt with getting on the requires of a home that has a founder, Kenzō Takada, who’s very considerably in a position to still concur, or disagree, with the brand’s dealings. The duo have spoken before about how they on a regular basis fulfill with Takada, is this still the circumstance? “We do! He will come to our exhibits and he’s been very supportive of what we’ve carried out. He undoubtedly feels we’ve introduced the spirit back to the manufacturer,” says Leon. “I do not imagine there is way too numerous homes where by the founder is still alive and that the present artistic directors have these a restricted relationship with them.”

The Link Among the Kenzo of the Earlier and the Kenzo of Now

Kenzo Folio 1 Campaign
In earlier interviews they’ve spoken about how they strategy to shift the manufacturer tale ahead fairly than entirely relying on the archives and this campaign was element of that. “We test to imagine of new methods of doing the job with the manufacturer that make sense for us. Tonight is not a evening about us, but about [Ruth Ossai and Akinola Davies Jr] and it is their evening. We just transpire to be the ingredients – it is their do the job.”

Leon was rapid to stage out that when they are moving the manufacturer ahead, there is still a continuing thread in between the do the job of nowadays and Kenzo’s past. So, when Takada hasn’t seen this campaign, Leon imagine he’d approve. “If you look back to those people amazing Hans Feurer photos of Iman – it is not the identical photographer, it is not the identical do the job at all – but the thoughts resonate [in the identical method]. This campaign goes even further more, in a different way, but I’d think about that he’d be happy. And he was these a cultural freak way too, his whole vision of the manufacturer was about all his travels and definitely expressing his those people by means of the assortment, so he’d unquestionably approve of this.”

Keeping away from Cultural Appropriation

Kenzo Folio 1 Campaign
It is difficult to stage out what is so pleasing about this campaign without bringing up the matter of cultural appropriation. As in, this shoot is as great as it is because it avoids currently being as groan-inducing as most culturally appropriating subjects are. How did Leon handle to keep away from slipping into anything that numerous manufacturers fall into? “It’s about picking artists that have an authentic voice, an authentic representation and we surrender ourselves to them,” he says. “This is an expression of them, when they grew up and the tale that they are trying to convey to. I do not imagine we’ve tried out to look at an graphic and reappropriate an graphic, we definitely tried out to go into this authentically.”

Humberto finishes on this be aware, “There aren’t way too numerous photos that look like these photos out there in the planet. It is a fine line but that’s where by I really feel very happy of it.”

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