Kenzo Launches LaChapelle-Lensed Campaign

Kenzo Launches LaChapelle-Lensed Campaign

"Kenzotopia" welcomes all ages and genders—just no "sad-looking models."

"Kenzotopia" welcomes all ages and genders—just no "sad-looking models."

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

There’s no mistaking a David LaChapelle production, as a new Kenzo campaign shot by the inimitable French photog has proven yet again. A visual buffet replete with Kenzo and LaChapelle trademarks, the campaign highlights the French-Japanese brand’s colorific SS19 collection, as seen in LaChapelle's lush scenography.

In a series of live tableaus, ranging from forest floors to underwater seascapes, models are seen suspended mid-motion and embodying the timeless, Neverlandian quality of the collection. Though more visually organic than the unabashed cheekiness and Barbie Castle optics for which LaChapelle became famous, his Kenzo collaboration subtly calls back to earlier works (see: the fire-hydrant fantasy) and embodies his overall fashion ethos: “We’ve seen so many people slumped over and looking so sad in their really expensive clothing,” he told Humberto Lim and Carol Lim in an accompanying interview. “It doesn’t make any sense for luxury brands. It’s just become the new normal to see sad-looking young models in very expensive clothing and I don’t understand that at all.”

Blending heightened reality with quasi-fantastical nature porn, the aesthetics of “Kenzotopia” stem from the last 11 years LaChapelle has spent living in Maui, Hawaii. The cast, selected by Leon and Lim, is just as diverse as the ecosystems they inhabit; from pole dancers to influencer Richie Shazam to creative director Humberto Leon’s mother, Wendy, the residents of Kenzotopia prove that fashion should be fun, no matter your age or your biome.

 

SS19 campaign shot by David LaChapelle (courtesy: Kenzo)

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