Japanese Designer Nigo Named Kenzo’s New Artistic Director
Japanese designer and streetwear guru, Nigo has been appointed as the new artistic director of Kenzo, taking the reins from Felipe Oliveira Baptista and continuing the late Takada Kenzo’s legacy. This is the first time that a Japanese director will be helming the brand after Takada’s resignation in 1999.
Sidney Toledano, chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group made the announcement on September 15 with Nigo officially starting his new role from September 20, a week before the start of the Paris Fashion Week’s Spring-Summer 2022 season.
“I am very happy to welcome Nigo as the artistic director of the Maison Kenzo. The arrival of an extremely talented Japanese designer will allow us to write a new page in the history of the house that Takada Kenzo founded,” says Toledano. “I am convinced that the creativity and the innovation of Nigo, as well as his attachment to the history of the house, will fully express all the potential of Kenzo,” he adds.
Nigo has been at the forefront of changing the landscape of global street culture with his brands, A Bathing Ape (or Bape) and Human Made. The designer worked simultaneously in the world of fashion and music, with sharp attention to detail. He frequently collaborated with some of the best-known companies and creative individuals in the world including Louis Vuitton's Virgil Abloh.
The newly appointed artistic director noted the connection between himself and the brand: the year he was born was the same year that Takada Kenzo opened his first store in Paris, the two both graduated from the same fashion school in Tokyo and in 1993 when Kenzo joined the LVMH group, he started his career in fashion.
“I am proud to have been appointed artistic director of Kenzo. Kenzo-san’s approach to creating originality was through his understanding of many different cultures. It is also the essence of my own philosophy of creativity. Inheriting the spirit of Kenzo-san’s craftmanship to create a new Kenzo is the greatest challenge of my 30-year career, which I intend to achieve together with the team,” he says.