LVMH’s Kenzo Names Nigo As Its New Designer | News & Analysis

Nigo, the Japanese streetwear entrepreneur who based A Bathing Ape, has been named the brand new inventive director of Kenzo, dad or mum firm LVMH stated in an announcement Wednesday. He succeeds Felipe Oliveira Baptista, the previous Lacoste designer who left the brand in June.

Nigo attended Bunka Vogue Faculty in Tokyo (the identical college attended by model founder Kenzo Takada) and began A Bathing Ape in 1993. Also referred to as “Bape,” the label grew to become a pioneering power in streetwear — marrying relaxed, graphic kinds with the hype issue of hard-to-find restricted runs.

After Nigo bought the model to Hong Kong’s I.T. group in 2011, he went on to launch two labels with singer Pharell (Billionaire Boys Membership and Ice Cream), designed Uniqlo’s UT vary, and collaborated with Adidas by way of his newer label, Human Made. Virgil Abloh tapped Nigo for his first and solely collaboration as menswear director of Louis Vuitton.

Nigo “modified the panorama of worldwide avenue tradition,” LVMH’s assertion stated. “He has innovated new methods for vogue to narrate to its viewers which have since turn out to be trade requirements.”

At Kenzo, Nigo might be charged with reviving a model which has a catchy title and prime retail places, however whose enterprise, pushed by brand tees and tiger-embroidered sweatshirts, has been cooling off.

LVMH has additionally named a brand new chief govt, Sylvain Blanc, to work alongside Nigo, in response to an inner announcement seen by BoF. Blanc, who has been CEO of French intimates model Undiz since 2018 and beforehand labored at The Kooples, is a graduate of two prime French engineering colleges, together with Bernard Arnault’s alma mater, the École Polytechnique.

Kenzo's new CEO Sylvain Blanc. LVMH.

Kenzo’s new CEO Sylvain Blanc. LVMH.

Throughout his two-year stint on the model, Nigo’s predecessor Oliveira Baptista tried to revive the unique codes of Kenzo Takada, who died last October of complications following Covid-19. The Japanese-born designer was recognized for relaxed, vibrant creations and nomadic references, and his designs had been a fixture of ‘70s and ‘80s nightlife, sported by the likes of Grace Jones and Iman.

However the pandemic was unhealthy timing for the roll-out of a couture-infused repositioning. With the nomination of Nigo, LVMH appears to be wanting again to a newer interval of success, when the model grew steadily for a number of years fuelled by a streetwear-inspired premium idea beneath the artistic course of Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim.

Whereas LVMH’s top-end, accessories-driven homes like Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton have seen gross sales come roaring back above pre-pandemic ranges over the last yr, Kenzo isn’t the one one among its smaller items beneath strain to reposition its design and technique.

Up to now yr LVMH’s Vogue Group (the conglomerate’s group of smaller manufacturers overseen by former Dior CEO Sidney Toledano) additionally named a new designer for Pucci, bought Nicholas Kirkwood sneakers and Thomas Pink shirting, and discontinued its Rihanna-helmed Fenty fashion start-up.

Be taught extra:

What’s Next for LVMH’s Fashion Group

As Louis Vuitton and Dior energy forward, designer departures and disposals elsewhere within the luxurious big’s portfolio counsel its smaller vogue property are beneath scrutiny. Has the technique actually modified? | LVMH’s Kenzo Names Nigo As Its New Designer | Information & Evaluation


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