• Kenzo used only Asian models at their SS18 show at Paris Fashion Week. (Kenzo / Instagram.)
Parisian luxury fashion house Kenzo was founded by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada in the 1970s, and its Spring/Summer 2018 Paris Fashion Week show was a clear nod to the label's cultural heritage.
By
Chloe Sargeant

29 Jun 2017 - 4:55 PM  UPDATED 30 Jun 2017 - 10:08 AM

Luxury Parisian fashion house Kenzo was the final label to show at Paris Fashion Week - and the event was unique in a way that few other fashion brands have ever been able to contest. 

Although the label was created in France, the founder of the label was a Japanese designer named Kenzo Takada. The label's Japanese heritage played a big role in their Spring/Summer '18 collection.

Combining their men’s and women’s collections, the brand presented their runway show as a two-act play, named 'The Red String of Fate'.

Each half was dedicated to one of two muses: act one, entitled ‘Building the Bamboo Houses’ was a nod to composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, and act two, named 'Love Letter to Sayoko’, was dedicated to model (and Takado's muse) Sayoko Yamaguchi.

While this layout is a rarity itself for a high-end fashion show, this is not all that set Kenzo apart.

As an homage to the label's Japanese heritage, Kenzo also chose to exclusively use Asian models for the collection - which meant a whopping 83 models of Asian ethnicity walked in the show.

For even more unique beauty, trapeze artists performed 'vertical choreography' above the models walking the runway. 

The fashion industry is renowned for its low rates of ethnic diversity, and to this day, plenty of fashion houses will present collections using exclusively white models. 

In 2013, Naomi Campbell and Iman created a group to tackle the racism that still exists in the fashion industry, called the Diversity Coalition

Kenzo's use of 83 non-white models in their Spring collection is a rare sight in the fashion industry, and a welcome change to the Paris Fashion Week runways.

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