Whenever Kenzo’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim visit a new city, the first thing they do is hit the local markets. This time, they brought the fashion pack with them. As Pitti Uomo’s special guest designer, the duo presented their outstanding third men’s wear outing at Florence’s food market, Mercato Centrale Di San Lorenzo, even providing a mini guide to their favorite stalls (picks included Lombardi for “The best balsamic vinegar,” and Mukki for its mushroom spreads).
Titled “The Jungle of the Sky,” the show took place in the site’s vacant upper level, a sprawling industrial space with a central iron structure recalling a New York bridge. Rolling dry ice added to the filmlike atmosphere. Paired with ultraskinny nylon pants, the collection’s dominating voluminous, rounded drop shoulder that appeared on updated bomber jackets, inventive bikers in boiled wool and color-blocked Neoprene sweatshirts winked to the Nineties and the house’s Asian roots. As a sharp contrast, minimalist razor-cut suits and topcoats exuded modernism. Even the signature prints had been cooled, with allover mini tiger heads forming foulard patterns on pants and jackets, and clouds mimicking camouflage on puffy coats. The mood was more concrete jungle than rainforest, with a strong urban sensibility.
In just three seasons, the designers’ talent for uniting merchant savvy with a hip design aesthetic has propelled the renewed Kenzo brand to a cult status, establishing a vibrant lifestyle proposition for the market as the new leaders of cool.