Reflecting a sped-up fashion system, and his penchant for constant narrative, Kenzo’s artistic director Nigo is planning to launch monthly campaigns for the French brand.
The first spots for his debut fall 2022 collection are to debut on Kenzo’s social and digital channels on Wednesday, in tandem with the worldwide retail launch.
“I’m very pleased to be able to finally share my first Kenzo collection with the world,” the Japanese designer told WWD.
British photographer Thurstan Redding, conscripted for the first three stories, captured four models wearing poppy-printed clothes racing across a Paris bridge toting vintage suitcases, the Eiffel Tower visible in the background.
Redding collaborated with stylist Marq Rise, with Christian Eberhard in charge of hair and Christine Corbel doing the makeup.
“Nigo has conceived a continuously unfolding story for Kenzo: a thoughtful wardrobe punctuated by monthly limited editions that is both very true to Kenzo Takada’s legacy and to the new designer’s creative vision,” according to the house. “Each month Kenzo will reveal a new creative story paired with exclusive products and campaign images that will highlight the current events of the house throughout the season.”
The brand described Nigo’s approach as a “synthesis between Japanese and Western sartorial traditions, and fundamentally, a common attitude toward fashion: the belief that what you see on the catwalk must lend itself to real life.”
Best known as the founder of A Bathing Ape and a streetwear pioneer in his native Japan, the designer, whose real name is Tomoaki Nagao, unveiled his first coed collection for Kenzo last January at Galerie Vivienne, a covered passage dating back to 1823 and where Kenzo’s founder staged his very first fashion show in April 1970.
Nigo’s debut show for Kenzo helped the brand win $6.6 million in media impact value, and crack the top-three most impactful shows during Paris Fashion Week, after Louis Vuitton in first place and Dior second, according to tabulations by Launchmetrics. “The show’s star-studded front row brought immense media buzz, with various hip-hop artists such as Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Tyler the Creator being mentioned in more than 50 percent of placements related to the brand,” the data and insights firm firm noted.
Kenzo declined to say how much its audience has grown since Nigo arrived last September. The brand, owned by French luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, boasts 2 million followers on Instagram.
Boke flowers and poppies have been blooming all over the feed as Nigo exalts the house’s legacy for cheerful floral prints. Nigo’s interpretation of a poppy print originally designed by Takada appears on T-shirts, shorts, camp shirts, skirts, tailoring and dresses in the first product drop.
Meanwhile in Paris, Kenzo is mounting a month-long takeover of Galerie Lafayette’s Boulevard Haussmann flagship that the retailer describes as “floral and maximalist,” hinged on the poppy.
The brand is taking over the store’s famous windows and installing two immersive pop-ups. The one dedicated to women’s will be plunked at one of the main entrances until June 30, while a men’s shop will debut in Galerie’s dedicated men’s building from June 7 to July 15.
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