Essay Kenzo Clothing

Kenzo is a French luxury house founded in 1970 by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada. Kenzo Takada was born in Japan and moved to Paris in 1964 to start his fashion career. He then became known for using Asian and Japanese influenced style with the expert construction of European high fashion. He started out with a 'Jungle Jap' boutique located in Paris and decorated in jungle inspired decor. He began with handmade women's clothing, then in 1983 Kenzo started designing men and then kids and home collections in 1987.[2] Today, it is an international luxury goods brand owned by parent company LVMH, that purchased the label in 1993.[3]


Since 2011, The founders of Opening Ceremony, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, are the creative directors and head designers of the brand.[4][5] Their aim is to shake up the 'jungle' world of fashion.[6] Their iconic tiger shirt and clothing has been worn by many celebrities and fashion bloggers including Beyoncé, Zooey Deschanel, Swizz Beatz, Selena Gomez, Spike Jonze, Joan Smalls, Lorde, and Rihanna.

Like Kenzo in the 1970s, Humberto and Carol decide to go up against the standard expectations of seasonal trends. They are said to be highly influenced by the environment of the 21st century. They collaborate with avant-garde artists, musicians, actors, and designers each collection.[6] Their most recent Fall 2014 collection, they collaborated with filmmaker David Lynch, who mixed the soundtrack for the show and provided a large sculpture.[7]


In 2016, Kenzo announced its collaboration with H&M. Kenzo X H&M collection was released on November 3, 2016. [8]

Charity work[edit]

Humberto Leon and Carol Lim both grew up in California and are well aware of the issues that endanger marine life that they decided to join forces with Blue Marine Foundation[9] to fight against overfishing and pollution. “We were eager to partner with a visionary organization that spoke about how we could live in harmony with the ocean. As we researched different charitable associations, we discovered the Blue Marine Foundation to be the perfect match. We wholeheartedly support their mission creating sustainable fishing and creating marine reserves. We are extremely excited about this long-term partnership between Kenzo and the Blue Marine Foundation and hope to create more and more awareness of this issue."[10]

To help do so, Kenzo has launched a unisex capsule collection for their Spring/Summer 2014 collection bearing a “No fish no nothing” slogan on T-shirts and sweatshirts; all proceeds will be donated to the foundation in hoping to ensure protection of the world’s oceans.[11] They have also put up a digital pop up store in Paris for one week from March 21 to March 27. A screen will allow the customers to browse and buy the garments, and every time a customer buys a new digital fish will enrich their digital aquarium. Also by taking a photo of the store and using the hashtag #NoFishNoNothing, will also support the cause and add a fish to the digital aquarium.[12]



External links[edit]

Media related to Kenzo at Wikimedia Commons

[An Introduction to the X-AXIS:

Correlations between The Fashion Model and Non-Binary Pedagogy]

The structure of this essay is an introduction to Eric Sommier’s The Fashion Model which serves as a materialization of fashion as a theoretical concept. Oxford’s definition of fashion encompasses both “A popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or behaviour.” and “A manner of doing something.”. What we have covered in class are historical and more contemporary understandings of socio scientific understandings around gender/sexuality and the issues surrounding the ethnographic transnational studies lack of integrating both ones positionally and intersectionality into developing methodology. This essay will not argue against Eric Sommier’s The Fashion Model in “Essai sur la mode dans les sociétés modernes” but amplify Sommier’s cartesian plane and highlight Sommier’s axis of Appearance versus Reality and the axis of Past versus Future. The question proposed for this essay is particularly; Does Sommier’s The Fashion Model inform a Non-Binary Pedagogy? This Non-Binary Pedagogy will site perspectives of Finn Enke’s “Stick Figures and Little Bits: Toward a Nonbinary Pedagogy”. We will discuss the material and contextual evidence of Sommier’s model and it’s relation to Non-Binary Pedagogy. Might be worth noting that Enke’s Four Modes Of Explanation are introductions to one of many frameworks of a Non-Binary Pedagogy that focuses on the discourses of gender spectrum through material understandings of masculine and femininity. (..stick figure is not a static representational entity that simply points to “real” entities outside of itself (males, females; binary gender system), but rather, the signs themselves produce binary gender.” (Enke 2016) The conversation of entities and the other spectrum within discussions of a Non-Binary Pedagogy; organic and artificial will be introduced in this essay. This pedagogy is a method and practice of teaching for youth that do not identity with a binary gender being male or female. The Fashion Model’s material evidence mentioned will be looking at examples of material bodies and representations of fashion shows being oxfords first definition of fashion “A popular or the latest style of clothing” and The Fashion Model’s contextual evidence will be defined as looking at the “A manner of doing something.”. By splitting it up until these two methods of looking at The Fashion Model we will be able to have a better understanding of Sommier’s cartesian plane and how they inform not just a Non-Binary Pedagogy but also other socio scientific readings discussed in Social Science of Sexuality and Gender. Each section of this essay will conclude with correlations between Appearance versus Reality and the spectrum of masculine and feminine within the Non-Binary Pedagogy as well as how Past versus Future correlates with the Organic versus the Artificial within the Non-Binary Pedagogy. This essay serves as an introduction to questions surrounding the multiplicity of gender and sexual identities and how existence is possibly not a matter of evolution but an involution. A transient realization that transgresses into a dispersal of entropy.

[Material Evidence: Appearance Versus Reality]

Sommier’s The Fashion Model states a spectrum of Appearance and Reality on one axis that highlights concepts of the aesthetic appearance of clothing design for human subjects and the Functional Reality of the the clothes themselves and what particular function it is providing for the human subject. The way the model is introduced is by placing fashion or clothing brands somewhere on the cartesian plane. The first material evidence within The Fashion Model is clothing designed by Christian Lacroix, a well known designer during the 90’s who frequently showed at Paris Fashion Week. Lacroix was most known for brocade, tucking, and draping fabric within dress design. The focus of the Lacroix was more around designing clothing that served social constructions of how to sexualize female assigned at birth. “McIntosh is one of the first sociologists to suggest that "sexuality" itself may be socially constructed.” (Nixon 2017) Lacroix did this by at times using minimal fabric where there would be an increase in visibility of the legs and breasts. By draping and gathering fabric around the hips it would exaggerate the appearance of the hips. As discussed in class it has not been historically uncommon to assume dresses are designed exclusively for those female assigned at birth but also used as a means to enhance sexualization of so called male counterparts. As McIntosh mentioned “..he goes on to discuss societys in which there are reports of sanctioned adolescent and other occasional “experimentation.” (McIntosh 1968) Lacroix is not participating in a sexual experimentation but a historical aesthetic experimentation of fabric on subjects female assigned birth at a time period that viewed the sexuality as a spectrum of feminine and masculine where points on that spectrum can be exaggerated as a function in order to attract a particular gender, this gender being those that are assigned male at birth. On the other side of this axis of The Fashion Model is Reality. The functional reality of clothing designs has traditionally been viewed as “Items worn to cover the body.” as oxfords definition of clothes states. Material examples of clothing brands or design that fall until reality is Timberland. According to Sommier Timberland is a good example of functional clothing design. Timberland is an American clothing bland that designs and produces outdoor wear with a focus on footwear established by shoe maker Nathan Swarts in 1928. What is possibly worth noting is this definition of clothes as “items worn to cover the body” when Sommier’s understanding of fashion focusing on appearance instead of function involves appearance as ones ability to be sexualized as mentioned previously. This contextual observation immediately highlights the correlation of assumed masculine and female attributes when discussing what constitutes appearance and function. As discussed in class through Emily Martin’s work on how science has constructed a romance based on stereotypical male-female roles, this assumption is exactly this construction that Martin discusses. “I am intrigued by the possibility that culture shapes how biological scientists describe what they discover about the natural world.” (Martin 1991) Interestingly this use of the word culture shaping biological scientists correlates with how Sommier’s assumption of Appearance versus Reality and how Non-Binary Pedagogy’s spectrum of feminine and masculine creates a framework of assumptions. This framework of assumptions says that Appearance is feminine with so called “Womenswear” designers such as Lacroix, Dior, and Jean Paul Gaultier as near the top of Appearance and Timberland exits near the bottom of Reality. Gap is placed in the middle of Appearance and Reality as means of serving both binary genders or perceived as uni-sex clothing. This section as only highlighted a few material examples of how The Fashion Model informs only one aspect of A Non-Binary Pedagogy and Socio Scientific references. Furthermore, making a distinction between material evidence and contextual evidence allows us to segway into more metaphysical conversation about the Past versus Future axis and how identifying as entities outside of masculine and feminine open up conversations of Non-Binary Pedagogy existing as not just the feminine and the masculine but also the Organic versus the Artificial.

[Contextual Evidence: Past Versus Future]

Rarely can we fathom ideas of material evidence outside of human experience. This section introduces a less articulated conception of Non-Binary Pedagogy but coincidentally correlatively almost harmoniously with The Fashion Model. Sommier discusses a distinction between clothing designers and brands that design either for the future or for the past. Contextual evidence for Sommier’s past are designers such as Dior, which was founded by Christian Dior in 1925. Instead of discussing the material qualities of designs done by Christian Dior over the years, we will focus more on the contexts and themes that have revolved around the House of Dior. The logic of Sommier may not be as simple as Appearance versus Function but also a temporal quality of design. Design that emulates not a question of attraction or repulsion but a matter of design that associates itself to certain traditions or concepts. “Anne Fausto-Sterling's The Five Sexes is an attempt to challenge the Western biomedical establishment's insistence on binary sex models” (Nixon 2017) Anne Fausto-Sterling discusses various challenges but shows as an example of traditional analysis tackling more modern concepts. The tradition of Fausto-Sterling is implicating a five sex model “whom I call herms, who possess one testis and one ovary (the sperm- and egg-producing vessels, or gonads); the male pseudohermaphrodites (the “merms”)," who have testes and some aspects of the female genitalia but no ovaries; and the female pseudohermaphrodites (the "ferms"), who have ovaries and some aspects of the male genitalia but lack testes.” (Fausto-Sterling 1993) but contradicts their progressive concepts of “Hence legal protection for people whose cultural and physical genitals do not match is needed during the current transition to a more gender-diverse world” (Fausto-Sterling 1993) this gender-diverse world. This gender-diverse world is exactly the contextual axis that exists in the Non-Binary Pedagogy. Dior, Burberry, Hermes are contextual evidence for Sommier’s past because traditional design did not just encompass function but the ideas that certain design attributes were associated with in that particular time period. Tradition was played a major role during the early 21st century, with Dior’s construction of The New Look, focused design around class, idealism, and social constructions of what constitutes sophistication. Worth noting, Hermes also placed on the axis of past by Sommier which supports a discourse of the origin(s) of fashion design being one of the most expensive brands today. Hermes sells the most expensive bag in the world that goes for over $50,000 US dollars. This mention of origins is the relational factor to The Non-Binary Pedagogy. Origin as Oxford’s positional definition is “The point or place where something begins, arises, or is derived. ‘his theory of the origin of life’” highlights the Organic of the; Organic versus Artificial axis of The Non-Binary Pedagogy. Organic identities that exist conceptualize into the contextual evidence of the Sommier’s Past as Dior has been proven to produce more organic dress designs resembling floral qualities and plant association. This distinct analysis is only a minor example for a much large correlation of human perceptions of what constitutes organic design. Jumping to the last part of The Fashion Model is looking at contextual evidence Sommier uses for the Future on the Past versus Future. Repeating that we aren’t looking at the material design evidence of the designers listed such as Kenzo at this point of the cartesian plane. It is not the minimal physical design of Kenzo that make it a participant of Sommier’s future but it’s association with the context and concepts surrounding minimalism and technology. Kenzo is also a french luxury house founded in 1970 by Japanese designer Zenzo Takada. Even thought they were made famous for jungle inspired decor Zenzo is a contemporary designer typically associated with youth culture. This youth culture is what emulates discussion of technology. Zenzo doing modern collaborations with H&M and social media contests feed more contextual and temporal evidence. In class “Namaste addresses how trans/gender non-normative bodies/identities are publicly regulated and controlled through acts of discrimination” (Nixon 2017) we discuss modern ideas around Non-Binary Pedagogy as situated as “Trans, Transgender, and Non-Binary Subjectivities and Identities: Global Perspectives” (Nixon 2017) These subjectivities associate themselves with youth culture in many different respects. Namaste’s piece written in 2000, temporally situates itself at the dawn of the millennium entitled “Genderbashing: Sexuality, Gender, and the Regulation of Public Spaces” doesn’t just discuss subjectivities of youth but also these temporal qualities we are discussing. “Gendered Space and the Public/Private Dichotomy: One of the remarkable things about the study of violence against sexual minorities is the way in which such aggression can be linked to common-sense assumptions of what constitutes “public” space..”. (Namaste 2000) This mode of aggression is amplified as a literal modality in The Fashion Model and The Non-Binary Pedagogy. Mode of aggression correlates with a mode-fluidity within the two spectrums situated inside both cartesian planes. Namaste is also making think linkage to aggression and a common-sense assumptions of what constitutes a space which builds on a Framework Of Assumptions discussed in the first section. This public space Namaste is referring to is also a temporal space that exists as the past or future and in this case Sommier’s future. Design that occupies spaces. Non-Binary Pedagogy inherently encourages designing of new gender identities and therefore gender spaces. These gender spaces are only recently manifesting into the human experiences of youth through technologies of graphic design. What is also coincidental are that these graphical spaces resemble mini cultures produced by particular collections produced my fashion designers that also manifest into new forms of identities and ways of being. This ends this section of ways of existing, which explain ways of existing may not always be material evidence of design but new contextual and conceptual ways of existing within the Non-Binary Pedagogy. Existing as genderless is one thing, but the possibility of existing outside of human experience such as a plant or a robot truly visualizes the multiplicity of opportunities in existing. This Contextual Evidence: Past versus Future seems to correlate with Material Evidence: Appearance Versus Reality.

[A Post-Human Modalities: The Correlations]

This section serves as an explanation for what has been discussed. In the first section we explored the Material evidence of Sommier’s Appearance versus Reality. This section discussed the aesthetic versus the functional and defined material evidence as the literal design qualities that make particular clothing design more geared towards appearance or more geared towards the reality of design that serves the bodies that exist in these clothes. That correlation meets A Non-Binary Pedagogy that introduces a Framework of Assumptions which constitutes what humans perceive as the spectrum; masculine and feminine. This Framework of Assumption leaks into our dissection of Contextual evidence as defined as not the literal material bodies and design but the traditions and concepts associated with temporal qualities within both The Fashion Model and the Non-Binary Pedagogy. This Framework of Assumption is a modality that contradicts this entire essay’s use of the word Versus when referring to the axises within the Cartesian Plane of Sommier’s The Fashion Model; Appearance versus Reality and Past Versus Future. It also contradicts the Non-Binary Pedagogy’s; Feminine versus Masculine and Organic versus Artificial. This is because it is not this binary dichotomy Namaste argues but a transient modality that youth in the Non-Binary Pedagogy use as design tools for creating new forms of being and existing. It should be Appearance and Reality, Past and Future, Feminine and Masculine, Organic and Artificial which allow a Post-Human Modality that escapes human experience and enters a metaphysical toolbox for existing. As ‘and’ offers an option within this toolbox instead of ‘versus’ as a matter of discourse. This also correlates with Social Science’s conversation of Nature and Nature NOT Nature versus Nurture.


This essay concludes by an articulation of the evidence as a whole, both material and contextual. The introduction to this essay was an outline of what we defined as Sommier’s fashion in The Fashion Model. We also in the introduction had a brief introduction to Finn Enke’s Non-Binary Pedagogy that focuses on the multiplicity of identities until a spectrum of feminine and masculine. The function of this essay has been an introduction to the Organic and Artificial axis to the cartesian plane of the Non-Binary Pedagogy which manifests beings that exist outside of human binary or temporal binary that integrates understandings of the gender spectrum (feminine and masculine) in Finn Enke’s Non-Binary Pedagogy. For more information on Finn Enke’s Non-Binary Pedagogy and The Four Modes Of Explanation please read “Explaining Non-Binary Pedagogy through Queer Youth Education” (Wu 2017) on youth that exist outside the gender binary. This introduction also opens up possibilities of non-human subjects and entities that exist as Post-Human Modalities and spaces of entropy. By taking references from McIntosh, Martin, Fausto-Sterling, and Namaste we only scratch the surface of contemporary understandings of social sciences in gender and sexuality studies. Integrating an inter-species analysis as well as artificial-intelligence into social science, queer theory, and trans studies perhaps opens up an intersectional and integration based foundation for Post-Human Studies.


Enke, A Finn 2016, Stick Figures and Little Bits: Toward a Nonbinary Pedagogy. Gilbert 2014, Introduction to Queer Youth In Schools.

Fausto-Sterling, Anne 1993, The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female Are Not Enough, The Sciences March/April 1993, p. 20-24

McIntosh, Mary 1968, The Homosexual Role Author(s): Reviewed work(s): Source: Social Problems, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Autumn, 1968), pp. 182-192

Martin, Emily 1991, The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles Signs, Vol. 16, No. 3. (Spring, 1991), pp. 485-501.

Namaste, Vivianne K 2000, Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transexual and Transgendered People, The University Of Chicago Press, Chicago 606637

Non-Binary Chart 2017,

Sommier Eric 2007, Essai sur la mode dans les sociétés modernes, L’Harmattan 2007 5-7 rue de l’école Polytechnique ; Paris 5,


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