KAUFMANFRANCO describes themselves as 'The New Sensualists'
The collaboration between designers Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco is marked by an often unspoken, always intense, creative dialogue. As a design team, Kaufman and Franco have shared a unique fashion trajectory - from designing for Valentino in Rome, to helming the Ungaro initiative in the U.S., to overseeing the entire scope of product at Anne Klein as co-creative directors - before establishing KAUFMANFRANCO in the fall of 2004.
KAUFMANFRANCO’s mix of sophistication and edge, luxury and function, handcrafted and high-tech offers up a body conscious sensuality as complex and provocative as the modern woman they dress. “Although our aesthetic is trained in a similar way, interestingly enough, it is always the tension between us that pushes us creatively,” says Franco. This combustible mix of the raw and the refined, the spontaneous and the controlled, produces heat and balance, imbuing their work with a visceral energy.
Simplicity is a unifying element of the KAUFMANFRANCO brand. Franco comments, “We deliver clothes that are deceptively understated, but when you take a closer look at them, they are actually quite complex, not based on decoration but on the cut, fabric and meticulous detailing.” Kaufman adds, “This detailing continues from the outside in, manipulating the construction of each garment in order to create an inside-out sexiness.” Offering a pared down, well edited mix of pieces, with the highest standards of global craftsmanship, KAUFMANFRANCO is about a new sensuality: a collision of contrasts and a balance of refinement and rebellion.
Ken Kaufman spray painting the Fall/Winter 2013/14
Sequin Shatters gown by KAUFMANFRANCO
During Paris Fashion Week last month on my way to La Réserve Paris showroom apartments 10, Place du Trocadéro / 3, Avenue d'Eylau, where I discovered such wonderful collections like Oscar de la Renta, Rouland Mouret, Rupert Sanderson, Zac Posen & KAUFMANFRANCO. The beautiful location represented a very elegantly reduced style, here some of my pics ...
For Fall/Winter 2013/14 the stylistic duo Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco presented a decisively noir mood. The cinematographic world of mystery, spying, and secrets has given life to a heroine dressed in dark shades, sado-chic suits in leather, overcoats trimmed in fur, transparent-like webbing, and the infallible trench. The evening is also charged with dark seduction through long, tapered dresses that show off shoulders and cleavage or with attire that is entirely embroidered.
Spies: so hot right now. Designers Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco are just one of many labels claiming that espionage inspired their Fall collection.
In this case, the reference was pretty clear in a trench called the Interrogator, available in both distressed calf and glazed felt, and several long column dresses. One, shown in a mossy matte jersey, and another in a charcoal wool were sexy and just subtle enough for a modern Miss Moneypenny. Kaufman and Franco, who launched their label in 2004 and hosted their first ever runway show in March 2013, are also obsessed with the idea of a good girl gone bad. "Like, if Rosemary ended up being evil at the end of Rosemary's Baby," said Kaufman before the show. A demonic Rosemary would love the gunmetal sequins, applied in an ombré pattern to the one dress with a sixties-mod feeling about it.
While Kaufman and Franco are proud of the moves they've made into sportswear this season's offering included black leather minis, leather shift dresses, and a gazillion pairs of fairly unexceptional leather pants their vision for evening remains stronger by far. (They've dressed a number of celebrities, from Taylor Swift to Jane Krakowski to Jennifer Aniston.) The casual furs were nice, but when the fluffy stuff is coming down the runways in gobs, you have to better distinguish it from the rest. The duo was recently selected to redesign American Airlines' staff uniforms. It would be smart of them to use that utilitarian experience to inform the day clothes next season.
Ken Kaufman & Isaac Franco
597 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Phone 001 - 212 765 3900
Fax 001 - 212 765 9659
Selection by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credits/Source: KAUFMANFRANCO, ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories,
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week NY
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'Linear silhouettes emphasis being on the shoulders instead of the waist, Posen proposed a series of looks for smart, decadent work-to-play dressing. “She’s unconventional, but she appreciates and loves the historic codes of luxury,” he said of this season’s muse-customer.'