Earlier this week, the French luxury house Kenzo addressed the lack of diversity in fashion head-on by casting all Asian models in the spring 2018 show. But how did it all come together? Designer Humberto Leon, who oversees the brand with Carol Lim, tells ELLE.com the decision was made four months ago.
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“We have worked with AM Casting for years now, so they have a great understanding of our process and storytelling method,” Leon wrote via email. “They are integral to helping us complete the story. There were a handful of local girls we used, and we flew over 25 models from China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, California, and London. Within the group of 80 plus Asian models there was such a range of diversity between all of them which was really exciting to see.”
As with any Kenzo presentation or show, the goal is to push the boundaries and “challenge the norm,” says Leon. “We are champions of diversity and this philosophy of inclusion informs all that we do. We hope to serve as an example for other houses that diversity is important and beautiful. It’s important to give minorities in any field a platform. In this case, we wanted to have an authentic approach.” Kenzo’s spring 2018 collection was inspired by Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto and model Sayoko Yamaguchi.