Like the collections of his label KZO, Joel Knörnschild is a melting pot ethnic diversity, life experiences, and foreign adventures.
Born in Southern California, Joel grew up working in the pattern room of his father’s apparel company. He then went to study art history in Florence, Italy, and live for varying periods in Innsbruck, Austria, and Tokyo, Japan.
From a young age, Joel fell in love with photography, cinema, and film. So intrigued with life’s stories as they unfolded, Joel carried a video camera with him everywhere he went. But he also nurtured a deep passion for music, playing in numerous rock bands while growing up.
Joel soon found himself writing and directing music videos for assorted bands in the US and Japan, drawing heavily on his expertise in music, film, and fashion. It was not long before KZO was born.
Joel approaches each collection at KZO like a film director. With visual narratives, drama, soundtracks, and visual storyboards for every season, Joel labels his brand “cinematic fashion.” Each collection tells a story, oftentimes related to Joel’s life and world experience.
As a young child, Joel grew up reading about a staunch environmental advocate, John Muir, whose activism not only saved the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park, and other areas of wilderness but also deeply inspired Joel like millions of others.
John Muir was born 1830 in Dunbar, Scotland, emigrating to the US when he was 11 years old. His writings and philosophy eventually laid the foundation of modern-day environmental movements; and the Sierra Club, which he founded, remains the oldest and most important environmental groups in the US today.
In 1868, Muir described Yosemite as “the grandest of all special temples of Nature.”
The 2009 a/w collection of KZO, which is entitled “Hallowed Ground,” unfolds a universal plot of inspiration and individuality, climaxing in the sanctity of natural life.
Slideshow 2009 a/w campaign & collection Copyright KZO.
Photo top left 2009 a/w campaign Copyright KZO.