Kenzo Picks Streetwear Guru Nigo as Its Next Designer – WWD

Nigo — the Japanese streetwear pioneer and founding father of A Bathing Ape — is the brand new inventive director of Kenzo, WWD has discovered.

He’s to begin on Sept. 20, and is anticipated to unveil his first assortment for ladies and men throughout Paris Fashion Week subsequent January.

The designer, born Tomoaki Nagao, possesses an intensive archive of fashions by Kenzo’s late founder Kenzo Takada and appeared destined for a plum Paris design put up.

He was born in 1970, the 12 months Takada opened his first retailer in Paris; the 2 males graduated from the identical trend faculty in Tokyo, Bunka Vogue Faculty, and Nigo began his trend profession the identical 12 months that the Kenzo maison turned a part of French luxurious group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

“He has adopted Kenzo for years,” stated Sidney Toledano, chairman and chief government officer of LVMH Vogue Group, confirming his newest designer appointment completely to WWD. “I used to be impressed by his character, his creativity and his data about Kenzo. He instantly had a imaginative and prescient for the best jacket, the best sweater. He was growing merchandise from our very first dialog.

“He’s an especially artistic individual, with that Japanese sense of high quality and wonder, and I believe the market wants that,” he added. “I believe he’ll convey a jolt to the model.”

In an announcement, Nigo famous that Takada’s “method to creating originality was by means of his understanding of many cultures. It’s also the essence of my very own philosophy of creativity. Inheriting the spirit of Kenzo san’s craftsmanship to create a brand new Kenzo is the best problem of my 30-year profession, which I intend to realize with the workforce.”

The designer arrives in tandem with a brand new CEO for Kenzo: Sylvain Blanc, who was most not too long ago CEO of Undiz, a division of Etam Group, is to take up the function on Oct. 18. He takes over from Sylvie Colin, who’s leaving Kenzo later this month for a private mission, and relocating to the U.S.

Nigo succeeds Felipe Oliveria Baptista, who parted ways with Kenzo in April after a two-year collaboration. The Portuguese designer introduced a classy and inventive contact to the Paris-based home, and was keen on enveloping, nomadic silhouettes.

Thought of by many the godfather of urban streetwear, Nigo is bound to convey buzz and cultural foreign money to Kenzo.

The Tokyo-based designer launched A Bathing Ape (often known as Bape) in 1993, bought the corporate to I.T in 2011 for about $2.8 million and left the model in 2013. Amongst his enduring Bape designs is his full-zip “shark” hoodie, which first got here out in 2004 and not too long ago loved a resurgence in curiosity.

A serial trend entrepreneur, Nigo partnered with Pharrell Williams to launch the streetwear manufacturers Billionaire Boys Membership and Ice Cream, labored for Uniqlo as artistic director for its UT vary and likewise launched a model known as Human Made. Lately, Human Made unfurled collaborations with the likes of Adidas Originals, Kaws, Levi’s and Verdy.

Final 12 months, Nigo famously collaborated with Louis Vuitton’s males’s put on inventive director Virgil Abloh on a capsule assortment that rapidly bought out. The second drop included a duck-shaped bag and monogrammed ponchos.

In an interview, Toledano stated he was dazzled by the Nigo x Vuitton collaboration, marketed as LV², and the accompanying pop-up store at Le Bon Marché in Paris, and a dialog ensued with Vuitton chairman and CEO Michael Burke. On the finish of it, Burke recommended Toledano think about the Japanese designer as a candidate, given the designer’s lengthy affection for Kenzo — and observe report creating covetable, unique and enduring designs. Bernard Arnault, chairman and ceo of LVMH, was additionally totally in favor of the the appointment.

“I wish to thank Bernard Arnault and Sidney Toledano for giving me this excellent alternative,” Nigo stated within the assertion.

Whereas Nigo has been primarily related to males’s put on by means of his lengthy profession, Toledano assured that the designer has a imaginative and prescient for girls in tune with instances, and Kenzo’s legacy of joyful fashions and nature-inspired prints.

Nigo can also be a famous DJ, related to Japanese hip-hop group Teriyaki Boyz, and a music producer with connections to the likes of Williams and Kanye West.

His appointment is the most recent sign of a convergence between streetwear and high-end fashions, which has seen Pucci collaborating with Supreme, Dior marketing sneakers with the Jordan brand and Ralph Lauren doing a tie-up with Palace.

To make sure, LVMH has pursued numerous artistic configurations Kenzo for the reason that founder left in 1999, initially appointing Gilles Rosier and Roy Krejberg to design the ladies’s and males’s traces, respectively. Italian designer Antonio Marras in the end succeeded Rosier in 2004 and continued till 2011, when LVMH repositioned the model within the then-burgeoning modern zone and conscripted Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim to guide Kenzo. The duo gained a following for tiger-logoed sweatshirts, slip-on sneakers and caps throughout their eight-year tenure.

In an inner announcement seen by WWD, Toledano thanked Colin for main the corporate for 4 years, “throughout which Kenzo has consolidated its group and largely renewed its collections, whereas strengthening its presence in Asia.”

Blanc has had a assorted profession tinged with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Kenzo ceo Sylvain Blanc

Sylvain Blanc joins Kenzo as CEO on Oct. 18.

After graduating from the École Polytechnique and Mines ParisTech college, Blanc began his profession at French division retailer Printemps, rising to move of strategic planning for shops. In 2010, he launched Hugo & Victor, a gourmand pastry store and model, and 4 years later joined trend chain The Kooples as vice chairman of Europe, Center East and Asia. He’s been at Undiz since 2018.

“Sylvain is keen about trend and has in depth expertise in retail,” Toledano stated. “He combines an entrepreneurial itinerary with a confirmed capacity to relaunch and develop established manufacturers. He has been tasked with opening a brand new chapter within the historical past of Kenzo.”

Takada was a trend innovator who introduced a gust of coloration, vitality and freshness to the Paris trend scene for the reason that ’70s — and who additionally made an indelible mark on the perfume world. He died final October at age 81 as a result of issues associated to COVID-19.


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CVC Invested in Japanese Streetwear Brand A Bathing Ape

7 Facts to Know About Fashion Designer Kenzo Takada | Kenzo Picks Streetwear Guru Nigo as Its Subsequent Designer – WWD


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