Dinner with Frédéric Malle

Frederic_Malle_Cover

Lately, I was invited by Perfumery Osswald in Zurich and had the amazing honor to have dinner with Frédéric Malle, a very captivating and inspirational gentleman, a father of four, and the man behind the niche fragrance house Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. Born in 1962, he grew up immersed in the world of perfumery (his grandfather Serge Heftler-Louiche founded Christian Dior Perfumes, and Frédéric’s mother later worked as an Art Director for the same perfume house) and has a deep knowledge of raw materials, fragrance structure and accords that he shared with me that night. His ‘Editions’ collection includes scents by distinguished noses including Dominique Ropion, Jean-Claude Ellena and Pierre Bourdon.

IMG_0198With Frédéric Malle at dinner at the Widder hotel.

Malle studied art history and economics at New York University. In 1988, he began his career at Roure Bertrand Dupont, the prestigious perfume laboratory. After working in the industry for more than 12 years, Frederic was ready to embark on a new adventure.

Frederic_Malle_20004 of his first launched perfumes in 2000: Lipstick Rose (Ralf Schwieger), Musc Ravager (Maurice Roucel), En Passant (Olivia Giacobetti) and Une Fleur de Cassie (Dominique Ropion).

In 2000, using his connections and experience in the industry, Frédéric invited nine top perfumers to design their own original perfumes with no restrictions, not even financially regarding their ingredients they chose. Thanks to Frédéric Malle, the return to luxury perfumery took place at the beginning of our century. In an era in which most companies put more importance on brand names, Malle brought the attention back to the product itself: perfume.

Until today, through a simple “back to basics” approach, Editions de Parfums is challenging all prevailing trends. Frédéric Malle’s contribution to the creation of the different fragrances sold under Editions de Parfums varies depending on the perfumers’ desire. Perfumers appeal to him to assess their work in progress and to share ideas.

Frederic-Malle-03

These fragrances are packaged in bottles that feature the name of the perfumer—a first in the industry, where the perfumer is traditionally behind the scenes and credit for the scent is given to the fashion house or celebrity on the bottle. While we were talking during dinner, I could sense that Frédéric Malle is very fond of Dominique Ropion‘s work. The two of them seem to build an amazing team.

quote_Malle

The development of a signature scent is a lengthy process, generally lasting between 6 and 18 months. Each fragrance starts with an idea, an “olfactive sketch,” which can either take the form of a material base – the mix of two or three raw materials, like colors in an abstract painting – or of an initial feeling, the desire to translate or convey a specific emotion. From there, the perfumers gradually build a full-scale composition, tinkering and problem-solving until a perfect balance is achieved. The challenge is to polish and perfect without losing the impact and personality of the original idea.

Eliminate all that is superfluous or merely decorative” – this, Frédéric Malle’s credo, is the only rule imposed on the house perfumers. Malle requests that each fragrance be designed to uniquely merge with the wearer’s skin rather than to just be a “pretty scent.”

Frederic_Malle_Parfums

Designer Frédéric Malle has more than 25 perfumes available at the moment, made in collaboration with perfumers Jean-Claude Ellena, Dominique Ropion, Maurice Roucel, Bruno Jovanovic, Carlos Benaim, Olivia Giacobetti, Pierre Bourdon, Edmond Roudnitska, Ralf Schwieger, Edouard Flechier, Michel Roudnitska and Sophia Grojsman.

Frederic-Malle_Downstairs-finalNew investments under the new helmet: Frédéric Malle’s London store at 14, Burlington Arcade.

Two years ago, The Estée Lauder Companies acquired Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle.

Frédéric Malle said about his decision to sell part of his company: “The Estée Lauder Companies has great respect for the art of perfumery and for the creativity, dedication and mastery required to create truly exceptional fragrance experiences. The company’s commitment to a high standard of excellence and ability to support the growth of entrepreneurial concepts in a way that preserves all that is unique and special makes The Estée Lauder Companies the ideal partner for us.

A truly inspirational creator and a real business man!

TO SHOP FREDERIC MALLE ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
In Switzerland a large selection is available at Perfumery Osswald in Zurich.

LoL, Sandra

Frederic_Malle_Logo

Photos: Courtesy of Frédéric Malle and © Sandra Bauknecht, via Mr Porter

LFW Honours Richard Nicoll with Nicoll Blue

Richard Nicoll (courtesy of Jack Wills)

In a special tribute to RICHARD NICOLL, London Fashion Week February 2017 salutes his talent with a colour dedicated to him, NICOLL BLUE. Chosen by a group of close friends, the blue is said, by Laurie Pressman of the Pantone Color Institute who developed the colour, to embody “the elegance and sensitive spirit of this much beloved designer whose innate kindness, loving soul and good natured sense of humour held a special allure to all that entered into his orbit.

The Arundel St and main entrance to The Store Studios, 180 Strand; the central hub of LFW, have been painted in Nicoll Blue to honour the designer after his sudden passing in October, 2016. The 39-year old died from a heart attack in his home town Sydney.

Nicoll Blue

ABOUT RICHARD NICOLL

Born in London and brought up in Australia, Richard Nicoll graduated from Central Saint Martins MA in 2002. His entire graduate collection was famously purchased by Dolce & Gabbana right after. He launched his eponymous label in 2005 and quickly found fans in the likes of Kylie Minogue, Kate Bosworth, and Julianne Moore. He emerged as a member of the new wave of London talent, whose original take on modern sportswear fused with relaxed tailoring won him NEWGEN sponsorship in 2006 and three Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode (ANDAM) awards. His experience beyond his eponymous label included freelance design for Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, the creative direction of Cerruti 1881, Fred Perry and later of youth label Jack Wills. In June 2012 he launched his debut menswear line at London Collections Men (now London Fashion Week Men’s). In 2015, he shuttered his namesake company and moved from London to Sydney.

Before his death, he had been preparing to start a new job as creative director at adidas in January 2017.

YVL_6640.1366x2048Richard Nicoll loved blue, here a look from his F/W 2014 collection.

To honour Richard, a minute’s silence will be observed just before the Central Saint Martins MA show on Friday 17th February. Plans are underway for a multifaceted, retrospective exhibition of the designer’s work to launch later in the year.

YOU CAN SHOP SOME OF THE LAST PIECES OF RICHARD NICOLL AT THE OUTNET BY CLICKING HERE.
icon

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Richard Nicoll (courtesy of Jack Wills),  Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages.com

Mode Suisse Edition 11

Mode_Suisse

Last night, I attended the 11th edition of the MODE SUISSE at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich. Ruling the runway were upcoming and established Swiss labels. A well prepared and entertaining presentation that showed a lot of passion for fashion in Switzerland. Some might still be too experimental, reminiscent of graduates at a design school, but the dedication that went into the work was absolutely worth it.

Bravo for the model casting! Very professional!

Mode_Suisse_2017Some of my own impressions of last night.

Mode_Suisse_Sandra_Bauknecht_GirlsSquad-1Girls squad: Laurence Antiglio, my humble self, Alexandra Kruse, Lisa Feldmann and Catherine Gonin.

Mode_Suisse_Sandra_Bauknecht_Gucci

MODE SUISSE 11th Edition – THE DESIGNER

Julia Seemann
Ruling the runway was this upcoming Swiss label, one my favorites of last night. A little touch of Vetements paired with some Alessandro Michele ruffles, Julia used some of the most trending details of the season for this fun collection.

____________________

LYN Lingerie
Just beautiful! Those lingerie pieces are ultra daring and very luxurious, all hand-made in the Swiss atelier, soon also available at Breuninger Germany.

____________________

enSoie
Founded by Monique Meier, enSoie creates socially responsible fashion in Zurich, Los Angeles and Kolkata. Now in the hands of the youngest daughter Anna Meier, the label experiences a makeover. So Zurich, so Swiss, so traditional! 

____________________

LIDA NOBA
Inspired by her Iranian roots, the designer created fluid lines with feminine details. Personally speaking, some of the looks were a little too much “Chloé”, but other parts have absolutely convinced me such as the dress below.

____________________

GARNISON
The label’s post-dandy menswear starring Louis Vuitton-exclusive Noah Brown (see above) and Zegna-boy Fallou Gueye (see below).

____________________

Julian Zigerli
Julian Zigerli’s second showing of womenswear and the gender fluid menswear that he is known for, this season inspired by the musical «Cats».

____________________

studiowinkler
For me, this was not Julia Winkler’s strongest collection. The looks were not very flattering, the music was depressive, this season she was a little too much experimental.

____________________

WUETHRICHFUERST
The designer duo made their much-anticipated debut at Mode Suisse. The fashion brand is based in Basel and their garments are not particulary linked to the seasons. The cosmic prints reminded me a bit of Christopher Kane. I like!

____________________

Adrian Reber
The Swiss designer uses vintage fur patches to create new pieces. I would like to see some men on the Swiss streets in those extravagant looks or probably not… what do you think?

____________________

HEAD – Genève
The work of Jeremy Gaillard, Vanessa Schindler and Flore Girard de Langlade were presented during the 11th edition of  Mode Suisse.

____________________

Special Guest – DOROTHEE VOGEL
Dorothee continues to be one of the most significant players in Swiss fashion. Her perfectly finished waisted jackets are legendary.

I hope that you enjoyed my little summary of last night. Great news is that Mode Suisse intents to make sure Swiss designer fashion is not only presented on the catwalk but becomes a day-to-day experience for everyone. You can try on and buy Edition 11 creations in the Mode Suisse pop-up store until February 25, 2017. Location: enSoie, Strehlgasse 26, 8001 Zurich.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Mode Suisse 11 by Alexander Palacios and © Sandra Bauknecht
Photos of the ladies and of me: © David Biedert Photography

Riccardo Tisci Exits Givenchy

Givenchy_Tisci_exists

This was breaking news this week, Riccardo Tisci is leaving Givenchy after 12 years with the brand and the house won’t show during Paris Fashion Week. His F/W 2017 menswear collection and S/S 2017 Haute Couture collection, shown together on the runway in Paris on January 20, were his last for the label.

00-things-to-know-riccardo-tisciRiccardo Tisci with Beyoncé photographed by Anton Corbjin for Vogue September 2015.

If you are one of Riccardo Tisci’s 1.8 million Instagram followers, then you probably already know that the Givenchy designer is loved by celebrities such as Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna and many more… Ticsi’s exit finishes one of the fashion industry’s longest and most successful appointments.

givenchy-sequin-dress-US-VOGUE-APRIL-2014-editorial-daria-werbowyGivenchy sequin dress and fox fur cape in US Vogue April 2014.

In the last year and a half, Dior, Valentino, Lanvin, Chloé, Saint Laurent, and more have seen their designers leave, which seems to lead to the fact that the short-term position for the creative director of around 3 to 4 years is becoming the new normal.

At the moment, the industry is changing anyway dramatically…

gallery-1486050006-1484834195-syn-hbz-1484814959-donatellaGivenchy ad campaign 2015 featuring Donatella Versace.

Concerning Tisci’s future, rumors are out that he will move to Versace, a brand that he has long expressed his admiration for, especially for the work of the late Gianni Versace. Ticsi has built up a close friendship with Gianni’s sister, Donatella, whom he invited to pose in a Givenchy ad campaign in 2015. Donated herself called Tisci’s F/W 2011 collection an homage to her brother. For a previous post, click here please.

To pay tribute to this fabulous designer, let’s indulge in some of his most amazing fashion moments, such as his famous Bambi sweater, his love for Rottweilers, and the most beautiful floral prints.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Givenchy

Have a look at some of my personal Givenchy highlights of the last years…
TRIBALWILD FLOWERON THE RED CARPET IN CANNESDANCING ON MULHOLLAND DRIVE DINNER AT L’ARC IN PARIS

For Riccardo Tisci, I think it is time to move on. Personally speaking, I have always been a great Givenchy fan, but change means new inspiration! And that is always good…

The fashion wheel is spinning again… let’s stay tuned!

Sandra-Bauknecht-in-Paris-Shopping

TO SHOP TISCI’S LAST COLLECTION FOR GIVENCHY, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vogue, Givenchy and © Sandra Bauknecht

Exclusive Catwalk at 10000 Meters

Rubin_Singer_Lufthansa_Show

Today, I want to share with you something very special. For the first time, you can enjoy a catwalk show at 10.000 meters being on route to New York Fashion Week with Lufthansa on February 8, 2017 on board a Boeing 747-8.

slide2

Up in the air, New York based fashion designer Rubin Singer, who began his career at Oscar de la Renta, is offering a preview of his women’s collection before the actual fashion show in the Big Apple. And the best is… on a catwalk high above the Atlantic Ocean.

Lufthansa_1

Moreover, air hostesses’ uniforms are also influenced by fashion trends. Therefore, in another fashion show the Lufthansa crew will model the looks of the past 60 years. And in tune with this retrospective, the jumbo jet has had a 70s-style facelift. Every passenger on flight LH 400 from Frankfurt/Main to New York on 8 February 2017 is invited to take part in this unique event – irrespective of booking class.

I am loving it! What a great idea!
TO BOOK YOUR FLIGHT, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Lufthansa and Rubin Singer

Karl Lagerfeld’s Swarovski Tiara

Karl_Lagerfeld_Tiara_Vienna_Opera_Ball

On February 23, 2017, the famous Vienna Opera Ball, one of the most exclusive highlights of the Viennese social calendar, celebrates its 150th anniversary. It is an event steeped in tradition and timeless glamour, where debutantes and their partners dance the opening waltz and dazzle wearing fairytale tiaras as they are introduced into society. This year marks a very special collaboration as the tiara is designed by an emperor. No other than «Kaiser Karl», KARL LAGERFELD, teamed up with SWAROVSKI to design the sparkling tiara that will crown the heads of the debutantes.

Swarovski Tiara 2017 - Mood 1 (c) Thomas Schrott_Swarovski

Embellished with 394 clear and saphire blue Swarovski crystals along with five Swarovski crystal pearls, the Swarovski Tiara is named “LE BEAU DANUBE BLEU” (The Blue Danube) which is the common title of a famous waltz by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Thomas Schrott/Swarovski, © Karl Lagerfeld and © Reuters

The New Loewe

the_new_loewe

The fashion world is moving fast and sometimes labels that have been around for many years become all of a sudden absolutely trendy. It takes the right designer to lead the brand to new heights just like Alessandro Michele did with Gucci. Now, there is another fashion house that you should include in your wish list: LOEWE. Founded in 1846, Loewe started life as a cooperative of leather artisans in Madrid, before German entrepreneur Enrique Loewe Roessberg took over the workshop and consolidated it under his name in 1872. The Spanish label introduced its first ready-to-wear collection in 1965, bringing fashion to the centre of the brand.

jonathan_anderson_loewe

In 2013 Jonathan Anderson took over the helm at Loewe and transformed the Spanish house slowly but constantly into one of the most talked-about labels this season.

loewe-spring-summer-2016-ad-campaign01Raquel Zimmermann starred in Loewe’s S/S 2016 ad campaign.

Under Anderson’s creative direction, the label has had its logo and emblem rebranded by Parisian art duo M/M (Paris), Steven Meisel-lensed ad campaigns have been rolled out and the clothes and bags are quickly garnering must-have status among the style set. When it comes to taking a label steeped in heritage and making it relevant today, Anderson has the Midas touch.

joyce_bag_loewe

A statement bag that you should get: Loewe‘s Joyce embellished leather shoulder bag.

d08551fedc7faf2c5dbe9d0d7fa7a648A modern legacy: LOEWE Boutique Bilbao designed by architect Javier Carvajal, 1960.
icon

An authority in leather goods for over 160 years, Loewe, under the creative vision of Anderson, continues to design classic handbags using cutting-edge techniques. With a keen interest in interiors and architecture, Javier Carvajal (the architect responsible for the modernist Loewe stores in the 1950s and 1960s) is another key inspiration.

puzzle_bag

The new must-have bag for the S/S 2017 season? Loewe‘s Puzzle leather shoulder bag.
iconFor Anderson’s first bag style, the Puzzle, more than 40 fragments of super-soft leather have been sliced and repositioned.

«I set out to find a new way of building a bag, fundamentally questioning its structure. It was about deconstructing a conventional bag to create a flat object with a tri-dimensional function» – Jonathan Anderson.

I love it! It is definitely on my shopping list…

You can shop a great selection of LOEWE at NET-A-PORTERicon, LUISAVIAROMAMATCHESFASHION and MYTHERESA.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Loewe

Edward Bess – Makeup That Wakes Up

edward_bess
Beautiful natural colors that suit every women, makes up that wakes up, that provides you with that certain glow we all wish for. Recently, I got a request from a dear reader about the products I use for my nude lip colors, here you go: meet EDWARD BESS – of course not without serious hair envy. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Edward Bess would discover his muse early on. With an innate sense of style and attention to detail, Edward has dissected beauty around him for as early as he can remember.

Even as a young boy my mother and three sisters looked to me for beauty advice – a glimpse into my future guiding women to look their best.

edward-bess-bio

At age 15 on a trip to New York City, Edward auditioned for the Professional Performing Arts School to study theater. Edward’s acceptance into the famed Manhattan theater school exposed him to cultural inspirations at every turn. As Edward continued his theater studies, he was approached to consider modeling. At age 18, fully immersed in modeling, Edward moved to work in London. His days were filled with castings and photo shoots as he soaked up the adventure of living abroad. These experiences would further influence and define Edward’s style as he set out to share his vision for women.
edward-bess-bio-footer

The face of beauty would be revolutionized by Edward’s next endeavor. “I decided to create a collection of lip colors that flattered all women – and would never go out of style,” he says. Assembling ten lipsticks and five glosses together in a sleek lacquer box, Edward named his first foray Lip Wardrobe. He debuted his lip colors in 2006 at Bergdorf Goodman, meeting with customers excited for his hand-picked shades. Edward’s talent and passion for beauty was clear – Lip Wardrobe sold out on its debut.

779132_in_xl

Ultra Slick Lipstick – Tender Love
icon

As word spread, women flocked to meet the 20 year old behind the buzz and have Edward personally select their lip colors. Edward expanded his range and introduced wearable shades for the eyes and face, also unveiling his Black Sea skincare range.

edward_bess1Black Sea Precious Pearl Perfector, 47ml
icon

In 2010 Edward Bess launched at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, establishing the brand’s pared-down philosophy across the country. The long list of celebrity followers continued to grow. Edward Bess made his international debut in Paris with the launch of his coveted collection at Colette in 2012, satisfying the demand abroad for the brand’s signature edited look.

779123_in_pp

Defining Lip Liner – Natural
icon

 Today, Edward’s collection has conquered the world of beauty all over the world and I have become a very big fan. His passion for making the world a more beautiful place, one woman at a time, lies at the heart of his “less is more” approach to beauty.

TO SHOP THE EDWARD BESS COLLECTION ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
Also available at Osswald Zurich.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Edward Bess
icon

Interview with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon

interview_carol_lim_humberto_leon_kenzo_hm

Dear readers, the big day is almost here. This Thursday, the KENZO x H&M collection will hit the shelves. I am thrilled to introduce you today a little more to this great collaboration and to the two masterminds behind it. Get to know the designers, that are truly two amazing people, and dive into the must-have pieces. I took many photos for you when I met them in NYC at the H&M showroom on Fifth Avenue.

sandra_bauknecht_kenzoxhm_look_day1_carol_lim_humberto_leonFramed by lovely Carol Lim to the left and Humberto Leon to the right in NYC.

Here is a little bit more insight about CAROL LIM and HUMBERTO LEON, the creative directors of KENZOicon, who have been friends since their studies at the University of California Berkeley.  In 2002, they opened their first store in New York. They took this decision after they had quit their corporate jobs at different fashion houses. Carol was a merchandise planner at Bally and Humberto was at Burberry. Even that it was a little bit of a risky time in New York, they dared this adventure. Not too surprisingly, OPENING CEREMONY went on to become a global sensation because Carol and Humberto bring such enthusiasm and fun to everything they do in fashion.

sandra_bauknecht_balmain_opening_ceremony_backMe running to the OPENING CEREMONY store in Los Angeles in 2013

The street wear brands that the designer duo brought into their store and made partnerships with, the things that they’d seen from their youth when they were growing up in the Los Angeles area, the celebrities who walked into their shop and expressed interest in the collection. This journey lead them to a big milestone in their lives. Five years ago, they became the creative directors at KENZO and transformed the brand immediately into something every fashionista wanted. Do you remember the hype about their tiger head sweaters (click here for a previous post from 2012)…

As you can see from the success, Carol and Humberto were clearly the right choice for the revival of the brand. KENZO TAKADA himself – when he started his brand in the ’70s in Paris – opened a store that was really visionary at the time. He mixed all these different cultures and design elements, and was one of the first ones transforming couture to street wear in a super accessible and fun way.

Therefore, H&M was eager for them to join their long list of designer collaborations. As ANN-SOFIE JOHANSSON, creative adviser at H&M, pointed out: «I think the timing was really right. We had our eyes on KENZO for a while, ever since Carol and Humberto joined and kind of recharged it. It’s really nice to have a house with kind of a history but also new creators giving it new energy

carol_lim_humberto_leon_anne_sofie_johanssonCarol Lim, Humberto Leon and Ann-Sofie Johansson, all in Kenzo x H&M

To begin, Carol and Humberto, looking at the beginning of these collaborations, 2004, the first was with Karl Lagerfeld, a couple years after you opened up your store, what was it like as retailers to see this phenomena happening in fashion, breaking the rules of what a designer brand could be, and what’s happened since then that made it possible for these partnerships to continue to be a success even 12 years later today?

HUMBERTO LEON: I think when we first heard about the Karl Lagerfeld and H&M collection, we were not only store owners but also lovers of buying and shopping and super excited. We were two people who lined up like everyone else. We just recounted all the pieces we had bought. I still own the suit, the dress shirt, the jeans, all these amazing things. I felt like it really gave us as consumers not only a chance to buy a designer, but also something that was created specially for this collaboration. So a really unique experience that is beyond just being able to buy the designer’s goods.

CAROL LIM: Yeah, and I think that having collaborated and having had a store, we realized the importance right away. We were excited to see the two brands coming together, creating something really magical. So for us, we had it marked in our calendars that it was something we were really excited to experience.

KENZO x H&M launch event : directed by Jean-Paul Goude - FIRST LOOKS

Carol and Humberto, why did you think this was right for KENZO as the first brand under the LVMH umbrella to do a partnership with H&M, which is interesting in itself?

CAROL LIM: First, we love the idea of storytelling and also speaking to a broader audience. It is also the perfect opportunity to not only talk to people that know KENZO, but to a whole new customer that could discover the brand. For LVMH, it is the perfect brand to test such a project.

HUMBERTO LEON: The idea of being able to experience the KENZO brand in different ways is really part of our ethos. So this was a no-brainer. H&M has an amazing portfolio of designers that have done this. It feels exciting to be a part of this group of people.

showroom_kenzo_x_hm

That’s a really good point. The hesitancy some designers had at the beginning is completely gone now. There’s no reason to not think this is a great thing for them. Tell us about your concept. What is KENZO x H&M?

HUMBERTO LEON: The most exciting part about this collaboration is that every piece we created is somewhat unique for this KENZO x H&M collection. We wanted to treat this as if it was a true conversation between the founder, Kenzo Takada and us. We went into the archives and actually resurrected pieces in their original form but we obviously modernized them. For instance, the dress behind us is one of the famous dresses from a 1978 collection where there were only two pieces made. There’s over I think 300 meters of ribbons. We own one of the two pieces and a museum owns another. So it’s super exciting that the H&M customer can actually come in and get a piece of this.

For Carol and I it was important that everyone knew that this house has a really, really unique story. It started in 1969 by one man before all the other Japanese designers came that now show in Paris. Kenzo Takada was the first. It’s exciting to tell the story of him, his struggles and the joy that he brought to the French capital.

For instance, there are a lot of little details that we found when going through the archives, he finished all the pieces so beautifully that they look like they should be reversible, so we decided to make some reversible as Carol’s skirt among other pieces. I think knitwear is another great example. We did a really amazing knitwear exploration, probably more than a lot of the other collaborations. It’s a big code of the house. So it’s exciting that people can actually buy a piece of this part of history.

sweater_kenzo_hmThe «watermelon» sweater is super soft.

Some of the 110 looks are a little bit wild. Jean-Paul Goude, who did the advertising and imagery, and  worked on the show, described them as nutty. There are pieces that when you look at them out of context, people may not even know how to react to them. There’s like a pink and green tiger striped sweater that could have been inspired by a watermelon. What you were thinking when you decided to go in such a strong fashion approach?

HUMBERTO LEON: We came into it as us, as the fanatical shoppers. We wanted to approach this, and we’re obviously showing really strong looks on the runway, really strong looks on the presentation and the campaigns. But in reality I think, as consumers, you only have a chance to grab as much as you can as there are only a couple of pieces. And the idea we’ve always said is that we want people to mix with what they are already having in their own wardrobe.

We always feel a lot of times when you design fashion, when you give a really strong proposal on the runway, it ends up being really expensive. It’s the €3,000 piece. We thought this would be a fun opportunity to be able to buy a piece of fashion at a really incredible price. I think that’s why we wanted it to be super unique. Most of the stuff was never in our collection. It’s really almost kind of buying a piece of history. The idea is that you can make it your own. And, yes, there are strong pieces. I think that the brand is known for the prints and the color and the fun. We’re showing it one way, and we really feel like in the end people will kind of interpret it their own way.

CAROL LIM: I think true to the spirit of how we work and also the brand we wanted there to be a joyfulness. When you walk into the room and you see the clothing, you can’t help but smile. I also think Humberto is right, when you pull it apart, you’re going to find things. But each piece can stand on its own. Hopefully it’s going to be the kind of piece that, you know, even if you may not wear it at this point in time, you put it in the box and save it and it comes back out. We wanted to approach every single item that way.

KENZO x H&M launch event : directed by Jean-Paul Goude - FIRST LOOKS

It seems there is something for many different types of customers, different generations in this collection. Who do you think is the customer for it, in your mind? With all this fashion, what challenges did you face, given the huge scale of this project?

HUMBERTO LEON: I feel like the customer who has grown and loved KENZO for the last almost 50 years will look at this and say, Whoa, they really arced back into the spirit of KENZO. I think that customer who is probably in their 50s, 60s, will be super excited to see what this is and reminisce about what this brand is. I think for a younger generation, there’s a lot of stuff that Carol and I injected into the brand that you can easily understand and  incorporate into your wardrobe. In many ways, there’s almost something for everyone. We always said, and Kenzo Takada also mentioned, it’s not about an age, it’s really about a spirit. So this collection is for a youthful spirit. That can really be an ageless notion.

details_kenzo_hm

CAROL LIM: Actually H&M were incredible partners. The ribbon dress was not an easy feat to accomplish but they were able to create everything. They were equally as excited about pushing it to the right quality and the finishing. So everything, even the small little buttons for which we created specific hardware, down to even the thread. 

74f89b2552b6e7fe5213c3e02af4c60bHans Feurer, Kenzo ad campaign, 1983

Let’s go back to the specific references within the collection. It’s really quite fascinating what you found in the archives, more so than perhaps you even do in the KENZO collections. There is the net print from maybe the second collection you showed in the showroom. What other elements are actually from the archives here?

HUMBERTO LEON: All the florals are from the archives. So you see all the florals and the ribbon tapes. There’s these floral dresses. The original kind of leopard print is from the archives.

One of the things we decided to do was do a mash-up between the archives prints and our prints. So you see the original tiger print that was on these amazing photos that Hans Feurer shot of the three women in these body suits, three-colored body suits. So this is from the archives. We recreated those jumpsuits in the collection. They’re two pieces, so it’s not one full body suit. But they’re these amazing, washable wool. So it’s an amazing fabric. H&M really took the time to redevelop these fabrics for today’s times, so they’re super cool, washable wool jerseys.

sandra_bauknecht_kenzo_hm_outfit1

Aside from that, the fuzzy coat is one of the first things that Kenzo Takada made. He made these hoodies, jackets and everything, even faux fur, the latter was kind of a great little fabric that really kind of brings us back to when he began, almost this kind of great naïve way of working that was just raw.

floral_top_hm_kenzoThe cropped floral top.

But I think the off-the-shoulder thing is something that if you are a KENZO fan through the years, like, different journalists have told us, I bought my first off-the-shoulder piece back in the day. We recreated those pieces both in a little crop top and this floral pleated ensemble. These are all really kind of signature details of the house.

img_3781The must-have sweatshirt

Then obviously Carol and I brought in the sweatshirts, made those a big thing for the house. We wanted to celebrate that and give the icon, which says KENZO Paris, with the running tiger in the back, is actually from the archives. That is from a piece from the ’80s. So we really, really brought in a lot of archival elements into the mix, which we felt like was such a great way to celebrate the brand.

CAROL LIM: Then we also have a lot of silhouettes we created in our first and second collection. There’s a sleeveless reversible silk dress with the medallion in the larger and smaller scale. There’s kind of a long tiger striped dress. Each piece is kind of speaking back to the archives or the period of time we kind of put our collections out.

HUMBERTO LEON: Yes, the medallions come from a little tie and a silk square that is from the archives, as well.

Kimonos over the must-have ribbon dresses.

You are mixing global cultures, there are the sandals, there’s a kimono in the collection. How do you approach that as designers when you’re kind of sampling from different cultures in a sense? What kind of message does that promote for the brand?

HUMBERTO LEON: Carol and I have always used our travels as a prime example of where we gain inspiration. We try to really embrace the authenticity of cultures. Similar to Kenzo Takada, who also had these famous travels that he brought back into his brand. But you have to give it your own take and twist it. I would say that our kimonos, it’s not a rub-off of a traditional Japanese kimono. It’s really a fashion take on that silhouette. We made them reversible. We made them cropped. I think the idea is to be inspired by culture, but at the same time I think hint and reference to it, but also give it your own take, your own personality.

hm_kenzo_lookbookFor the lookbook, click here.

There’s a lot of personality in the lookbook. I’m sure the reaction you’ve seen to this already tells you quite a lot about how welcome the representation of diversity is in fashion today. How did you select the group represented? How did you approach them? How do they reflect the values of KENZO x H&M?

HUMBERTO LEON: When we sat down and talked about this project, Carol and I wanted people to represent, first and foremost, themselves, something that they stood by. Individuality was a really big expression in what we were looking for. People that were authentic and that expressed themselves. So we  didn’t look at the models how they looked but what they stood for as human beings. It was a really kind of genuine approach Then as a bonus, they all looked amazing in the clothing. There was a big diversity. There’s a makeup artist, a performer, a singer, a journalist. I think that we could really relate to these people as you could imagine sitting down at a dinner table with them and having great conversations. They felt like great ambassadors for us. 

kenzo-x-hm

And what about the campaign?

HUMBERTO LEON: For the campaign, we have everyone from Chance The Rapper, Iman, Rosario Dawson, Martinez, Suboi. These amazing people from all around the world that in many ways are our idols that we think stand for something so great and so exciting. The look look together with the campaign presents a great group of people, really authentic and real to us.

kenzo-2012-fallKenzo F/W 2012 campaign shot by Jean-Paul Goude

Tell us about Jean-Paul’s involvement. How did you approach him? Isn’t there’s a slight connection to Kenzo Takada himself. Why was he the person for the ad campaign?

CAROL LIM: Humberto and I have been fans of Jean-Paul from growing up. I think we’re familiar with his work as an art director, as a photographer, and as really an image maker. When we first joined KENZO, Humberto and I, we were brainstorming about who would shoot the first campaign? Humberto came up with Jean-Paul. As we were dreaming up who we wanted to collaborate with when we joined the house, he was the first person that we approached. Through luck and perseverance and through developing a relationship with him, he came and he actually said to us, I know Kenzo Takada. Through scheduling conflicts, they never worked together. I can sense the energy of what you’re bringing. He’s very much about a personal connection. So he shot our first campaign for us at KENZO and we formed a very deep bond with him.

So when this partnership came about, we even deepened his involvement with the event. If you’ve seen any of his happenings, for example this incredible bicentennial for France. What he’s able to do on an event level, even on windows, a lot of different things, we thought if he would be open to it, would he be interested in working with us on this project.

untitled-article-1461238096-body-image-1461238226Grace Jones by Jean-Paul Goude

HUMBERTO LEON: I mean, even prior to everything Carol just said, I don’t know if everyone knows how amazing Jean-Paul Goude is, but he obviously did all those amazing Grace Jones covers, all this amazing, amazing work with different brands, incredible people. But Carol and I, even before we joined KENZO, when we were doing our interview for the job, the first question they asked, they said, Who are you going to get to shoot the campaign? We said, Jean-Paul Goude. They said, Oh, wow. Do you know him? We said, No. They said, How are you going to get him to shoot the campaign? We said, We don’t know, we’re going to figure it out. Okay, you get the job, let’s see if you can figure this out. In our first and second campaign, Jean-Paul shot it. We became friends. That was really the main thing that happened. We went into this as a part two of what we had done. I think that the show and the runway experience, it’s a deepened relationship because he really hasn’t done too many performances, art directed, creative directed too many performances. The bicentennial is probably the most famous.

kenzo_takadaSince selling KENZO to LVMH in 1993, Kenzo Takada has travelled the world and set up his own interior company.

What would Mr. Takada say about your collaboration with H&M? Would he approve?

HUMBERTO LEON: I think he would love it. I mean, number one, I guess it’s not good to say he’s a fan. But he’s a fan of what we do. He comes to our shows. We’ve had conversations with him where he really feels like we brought the energy and spirit of what he did in the ’70s and ’80s back, and that our values feel very similar to his values. In many ways, I feel like one of his biggest objectives and things that brought him the most joy was just seeing people wearing his clothing. I think this is an amazing opportunity to see more people wearing this brand that he created. I think that Carol and I have never shied away from our efforts really kind of being an homage to what he does. So I think he’d be thrilled, excited to see, I don’t know, after November 3rd, just people on the streets wearing these prints and these propositions that he once created, obviously newly thought about and newly done, but in a way seeing these things walk on people.

CAROL LIM: He’s known for being, and still, one of the most generous people in terms of his spirit and kindness. He’s had amazing, legendary parties, not only at his home but his shows. He staged them in elaborate ways and always included people he admired, his friends,different artists. I mean, before there was this term ‘collaboration’, he was doing it naturally. I think he would be really excited about this.

The reversible kimonos are amazing.

I would like to know more about your creative process. Do you sit down together or do you start separately from each other? Do you present then your ideas each other? Have you ever had an argument about a design one of you wanted to do and the other didn’t approve?

HUMBERTO LEON: Never about that. I think Carol and I talk a lot. The reason we were able to do as much as we do is because we’re together. I think we also know what we’re both good at. I think in 15 years we’ve been able to learn the other side of what we’re not good at. I feel like we’ve been able to really communicate well. We definitely never argue over, you know, whether or not something is good or bad or right in terms of design. I feel like we’re pretty in sync. At the end of the day we have the same end goal. Both of us are trying to work towards that end goal.

What are you strongest at and what is she strongest at?

HUMBERTO LEON: Inherently, I was the creative director doing more of the creative, and then Carol came in more as the business person. I think as everyone has learned today, the two really go hand-in-hand. I think that’s where we feel like our strength is, is really questioning every aspect of it and making sure what the end consumer gets is exciting and of value.

Thank you, Carol and Humberto, for giving us an amazing insight in the collection!

The Kenzo x H&M collection will be available in over 250 H&M stores worldwide, as well as online, from this Thursday, November 3, 2016.

LoL, Sandra

kenzo_hm_collar

Photos: Courtesy of H&M, Kenzo, © Jean-Paul Goude and © Sandra Bauknecht

In NYC for Kenzo x H&M

kenzo_hm_nyc

We wanted to really tell the story of the brand and of us.“
HUMBERTO LEON, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, KENZO

Hello from NYC where I am for the launch event of Kenzo x H&M and I couldn’t be anymore excited about it. First of all, I truly love what I have seen so far and second of all, H&M throws the best parties for their designer collaborations.

Do you remember…
2011 H&M x Versace in NYC
2012 H&M x Maison Martin Margiela in NYC
2013 H&M x Isabel Marant in Paris
2014 H&M x Alexander Wang in NYC
2015 H&M x Balmain in NYC

img_3648A little surprise waiting in my room…

This time, I am staying at The Roxy Hotel Tribeca which is the partner hotel of the iconic Soho Grand that opened in September 2015. Walking into the lobby, the space feels a bit more like a movie theater than a typical hotel lobby, with brick walls and a huge restaurant setting the tone.

entranceroxytribeca_kenzoxhmThe entrance of The Roxy Hotel Tribeca…

I am on the top floor and have a beautiful view over the neighborhood. So far, I am very happy and will be heading out now to enjoy the beautiful and sunny weather…

img_3646My view

theroxytribeca-kenzoxhmInside the hotel…

img_3681My room…

theroxynyc_kenzoxhmAnother part of my view…

carol_lim_sandra_bauknecht_kenzoxhm With Carol Lim, Creative Director Kenzo, backstage at her first Opening Ceremony show in 2013.

cq5dam-web-1920-1280

Now, I am about to leave my hotel for the interview with Carol Lim, Humberto Leon of Kenzo and Ann-Sofie Johansson of H&M. Enjoy some of my first impressions and stay tuned for more coming up from NYC. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @sandrascloset for live updates! The show will be taking place on Wednesday evening at 7.45pm local time.

Below you can see some of my personal must-haves of the collection that will hit the stores on November 3, 2016.! Enjoy!

LoL, Sandra

kenzo_hm-1 kenzo_hm_3 kenzo_hm_4 kenzo_hm_6 kenzo_hm_7 kenzo_hm_8 kenzo_hm-2 kenzo_hm6

Photos: Courtesy of H&M and © Sandra Bauknecht