“Do you know who is doing the music for the show?” asked the musician, who himself had been tapped by designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim to create the soundtracks for Kenzo shows in the past.
We didn’t. “You’ll find out very soon,” he grinned.
The occasion was momentous: It was Leon and Lim’s last show for the brand, after arriving at the house in 2011 and completely transforming the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand’s direction.
“When they took over the brand, all of a sudden everything changed,” said designer Kenzo Takada, the label’s founder, who stepped down from the company in 1999.
“They brought a casual aspect, a bit sporty, very graphic. It really made the brand fresher and more dynamic: A lot of young people are Kenzo fans today. I was lucky that way. It is my name, after all,” he added.
Sitting alongside hip-hop artist M.I.A., American actress Rowan Blanchard was singing the creative duo’s praises.
“They are some of the kindest people I’ve met in fashion,” said the 17-year-old actress, who featured in the Carrie Brownstein-directed Kenzo short film “The Realest Real” in 2016 and will start filming the dystopian TV series “Snowpiercer” this fall. “As a young person this stuff can be kind of intimidating, but they’ve always made me feel so safe, and excited by clothes.”
Suddenly the lights dimmed in the cavernous concert hall — some 5,000 guests attended, including members of the public, fashion students and Kenzo staff — and Lim and Leon’s final Kenzo show kicked off with a syncopated walk performed by a troop of dancers wearing archival Kenzo looks created by the pair since their arrival, choreographed by Léo Lerus.
At last, the event’s special guest was revealed: Solange appeared at the back of the space moments later, wearing a silk jungle-print dress and elaborate beaded gloves.
The singer — and sister to Beyoncé — performed her song “I’m a Witness” before descending to the runway accompanied by her brass orchestra to greet Lim and Leon for their final, moving bow.