Kenzo Takada, an iconic Japanese fashion designer and founder of the fashion house KENZO, was here in Singapore last week to attend Asian Couture Federation’s first inaugural gala dinner at FIDé Fashion Week. I had the exclusive opportunity of meeting Kenzo Takada and interview him about his new role as Honorary President of the newly inaugurated Asian Couture Federation (ACF).
It wasn’t an everyday thing – interviewing a world renowned fashion designer who has created his own fashion label, KENZO, a worldwide brand of perfumes, skincare products and clothes. Nervous as I was, I quickly researched Kenzo and jot down a list of questions in my notebook I could refer to if and when my ‘panic mode’ kicked in.
Clad in a simple black pinstriped tailored suit, Kenzo looked effortlessly stylish by pairing his outfit with tough leather black boots, which broke the formality of his overall attire. It’s always the fine touches that make an outfit look trendy and desirable.
When I quipped that I liked his stylish boots and asked him what his personal style of dress was like, he replied that he likes to keep it very classic. Though he is always seen in his usual double-breasted jacket and pants, it doesn’t mean he isn’t creative. He expressed that “his heart has never left fashion” even after leaving his own fashion house back in 1999.
When asked about his role as ACF’s Honorary President, Kenzo mentioned that he plays a part in aiding and promoting the development of Asian couture in the world fashion scene. With his passion for fashion and creativity, he’ll do his best to assist ACF in their continued support of talented Asian designers.
He expressed that Asian couture designers have a great potential to set trends with Asia’s rich and unique cultural diversity that’s constantly fueling creativity and inspiring Asian fashion designers to innovate.
It was Kenzo’s first day here in Singapore, and he has yet to view any of the fashion showcases by the couture designers. He was excited to see the collections presented during this year’s FIDé Fashion Week, especially the Japanese Couture evening, which featured the collections of Juko Koshino, Yoshiki Hishunuma and Keita Maruyama.
Lastly, as our interview was just about to come to an end, I couldn’t help but to ask Kenzo what his secret for staying so youthful-looking was, even at the age of 74! He laughed and replied, “Asian people always tend to look younger than Caucasians. Also, Japanese people are very particular about health. I try to eat healthily and exercise to stay fit and youthful. Working with the new generation of young aspiring fashion talents who give off a youthful energy also helps me stay young at heart.”
That marked my very first short encounter with a well-respected fashion designer, whom I believe many young fashion designers should look up to.
Report prepared by Deenise Glitz