Kenzo taps Ana Lily Amirpour and Karen O for its latest campaign film

Published January 11, 2018

IMAGE COURTESY OF KENZO.

Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, co-creative directors of the French fashion house KENZO, have just announced the latest release in their seasonal film series. The series’ sixth project showcases its spring/summer 2018 collection and is also a music video for the song “Yo! My Saint,” written by Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O and performed by Karen and Michael Kiwanuka.

The film, directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, features an all-Asian cast including Jessica Henwick, Alex Zhang, and Kiko Mizuhara. “Working on this collection, Carol and I were really in a proud moment. A lot of what we do at KENZO goes back to growing up, being kids in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and feeling like, ‘Oh, like, remember when it was, like, so not cool to be Asian,’” Leon says. “We’re living in a time where we’re super embracing our heritage, and I think that it’s perfect that we celebrate the Japanese Heritage of the KENZO brand, but also celebrating us all as Asians.”

The film examines the roles of artist and muse, turning conventional perceptions of each on their heads. It starts on the set of a photo shoot and migrates to a karaoke lounge, where in both cases the muse seems to manipulate the artist, departing from the convention of the artist having creative control. “A lot of people see a muse as a passive instigator,” Amirpour says. “In actuality I think a muse has a lot more of an active role of being a sounding board and contributing ideas.”

Watch the short film below.