From the Kenzo World advertisement

CODE CRACKING: The film advertisement for Kenzo World women’s fragrance is making waves online.

The three-minute-and-48-second spot, which was lensed by Spike Jonze, hit the Internet on Aug. 25.

By Friday morning, the Kenzo World spot had already garnered 1.45 million views on Kenzo’s YouTube channel, almost 50,500 people had mentioned it on Facebook, while on Twitter, the hashtag #KenzoWorld boasted 277,000 followers and 448 tweets.

It opens with Sarah Margaret Qualley — daughter of actress Andie MacDowell — excusing herself from a stately room where an award ceremony is taking place. Out in the corridor, she starts to twitch — first her face, then her body — and bursts into frenetic movement. Ensuing special effects leave viewers questioning what’s real.

“We want a fantasy that isn’t about Wonder Woman, Super Girl about to save the world. We want a fantasy that every girl — and maybe even guys — can really relate to, something that feels genuine and real and in the psyche of humans,” Humberto Leon, one of Kenzo’s artistic directors, told WWD. The idea, he added was for people’s takeaway to be “like whoa, that’s what I want to be.”

“To us that was really important. That’s truly disruptive, and that was our approach. It was very pure,” he said, referring to Carol Lim, Kenzo’s other designer. “We’ve always said you need to feel uneasy about things in order for them to really feel like they’re progressing and moving.”

“We talk about this duality, and so here she is — a very relatable woman,” Lim added. “You’ve probably been in a situation like hers, whether it’s a gala event or even an office meeting. Then she goes into this sequence, which you don’t know: Is it happening or is it in her mind? She takes you on this journey with her, and that’s our girl.”


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