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Designer and Print-Ad Star Kenzo Minami Gets His Coffee at Cafe Gitane


Minami with Rila Fukushima at the Warhol opening
last week.Photo: Patrick McMullan

Introducing you to the faces you see out and about.

Name: Kenzo Minami
Age: 33
Profession: Graphic designer, T-shirt designer, and immaculately coiffed and goateed star of Reebok’s “I Am What I Am” ad campaign. His piece Synchronization appears in the current Mercedes Benz Presents Andy Warhol show.
Provenance: Hyogo, a factory town in Kobe, Japan, via the Lower East Side

What You Know Him From: After making his name as a graphic designer, Minami launched a garment line that sells at Barneys New York and Seven (where Axl Rose bought a shirt) and is worn by the types who remember the height of Sway’s Morrissey night.

Breakthrough Moment: A Nike rep spotted a sticker he made on the fly and commissioned him to do a mural for the company’s inaugural art space.

Where You’ll See Him: When he’s not wearing “jazz hands” for Lovely Day’s Halloween party or top hats for Julia Jaksic’s Dinner Club, he’ll be wherever friends like James Murphy spin (205, Hiro); boutiques such as Iheart; getting coffee at Cafe Gitane; visiting galleries like Visionaire; and sometimes at Passerby for old time’s sake.

Whom You’ll See Him With: An entourage including ZZ Top–bearded D.J.-producer Tommie Sunshine, stripe-wearing D.J. Prince Language, jeweler-actor Waris Ahluwalia, human butterfly Rila Fukushima, Surface to Air’s Gordon Hull, Soho Grand’s Tommy Saleh, and a coterie of Belgian models.

What He’ll Be Wearing: Old black rather than new black — his prized Chanel watch, Ann Demeulemeester jacket, Burberry trench, and, until recently, the plain leather shoes he wore for thirteen years.

How He Describes His Work: “Motion of precise machinery of the world working in the principle of causality and acausality at once, both as part of the system of perfectly functioning engine of the world.”

How We Describe His Work: M.C. Escher meets the video for Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” —Daniel Maurer

Designer and Print-Ad Star Kenzo Minami Gets His Coffee at Cafe Gitane