Kenzo RTW Spring 2024
Pharrell Williams wore a full Kenzo outfit by his close friend and frequent partner Nigo to tonight’s show. He paired it with a yellow duffle bag from his own debut collection, which was hot off the oven and the runway. It was like coming full circle. Those who know the history will know that Nigo gave Williams one of his first official steps into fashion when they started Billionaire Boys Club together in 2003.
Still, Nigo has a clear talent for working with others to make something new. However, until tonight, he had only worked with the house’s founder—well, with his archive—during his time at Kenzo. He said that, contrary to what most people think, Nigo is “quite against collaborations in fashion.” He said that after getting the top job at Kenzo, he didn’t want any problems right away so that he could prove himself. But it’s hard not to give in to expectations, so his men’s and women’s spring 2024 collections showed work by his close friend Verdy, a Japanese graphic artist who was just named Blackpink’s new artistic director.
The right time to play that card was now. Nigo wants to leave a strong mark on Kenzo, and judging by the number of celebrities at this show and the fact that it was held at the Passerelle Debilly at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, this was the right time to go all out. Plus, now that he has been running Kenzo for a while, he has the room to do that.
Nigo has recently become interested in the fact that city pop, a Japanese pop music trend that began in the 1970s and reached its peak in the 1980s, has recently gained mainstream popularity around the world. Nigo’s work is good at balancing this strain between what is truly Japanese and how it has been reinterpreted by the West. This was shown in this collection when he wore clothes from the time when he first heard the music in the setting of a brand that is now known all over the world.
In fact, Nigo looked through both his own archive and the Kenzo collection from the time when city pop first started to see how the same items and styles have been reinterpreted since then. This came across best in his tailoring, which is still his best work at Kenzo. He mixed elements of Japanese tailoring with details and shapes from the time. The best pieces were a pair of dress shorts with wide pleats that looked like a hakama and a double-breasted striped jacket that looked like a kimono.
Verdy’s contribution was a redesigned “Kenzo Paris” logo that was put on the back of coats and cleverly used as binding tape on some tailoring. A rose print from the Kenzo archive was reworked and put on pink summer fabrics to add a light touch to the rest of the line. Nigo’s strong suit is still denim, and his cool, casual, but still on purpose clothing is also a strong suit. Still, even though this women’s collection had a better point of view (with sexy semi-sheer knits and short shifts), the direction still doesn’t seem to be clear.
It’s hard not to see similarities between Nigo’s show today and Williams’ show earlier this week. Even though the bridge may just be an accident, the size is not. We’ve moved into a new era of fashion as entertainment, where editors and writers are just as interested in the famous people who show up as they are in the clothes. Even though there is a lot of noise, Nigo still does nothing but his own thing. To his credit, none of the many online trends that are popular this season (like “quiet luxury”) were on his runway. Nigo has been on the show for four seasons, and based on this episode, he’s all warmed up.
Kenzo is one of the most iconic fashion houses of the 21st century, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Founded in 1970 by designer Kenzo Takada, the brand has since become a global phenomenon, its history long and varied, and its reach vast.
The abounding success of the label has come as no surprise. Kenzo has been driven by Kenzo Takada’s vision of mixing street style with Eastern-influenced design for every season. With runway shows featuring bold colors and prints, and an innovative approach to the infusion of fabrics and silhouettes, it’s no wonder that Kenzo’s popularity has endured ever since the establishment of the label.
Every collection screams creativity and fun, with pieces perfect for everyday wear, as well as for nights out. For any fashion aficionado, the Kenzo label is a must-have due to the strong focus on their unique aesthetic.
On the other hand, the label also strives to remain forward-thinking and socially conscious. In recent years, Kenzo has become well known for environmentally friendly practices such as upcycling and recycling, as well as collaborating with charities to help promote sustainability.
The Kenzo name has been a staple of the industry for five decades, and it stands for much more than just fashion. Whether supporting eco-friendly initiatives or introducing bold prints and designs to the runway, it is safe to say that Kenzo’s influence will continue to remain strong in the industry for years to come.