The fashion world is no stranger to the intoxicating allure of innovation, a principle masterfully embodied by Nigo’s Kenzo Spring/Summer 2024 collection. As he paints a vivid narrative of inspiration and collaboration, the collection uncovers the harmonious interplay between the new and the old, the familiar and the unexplored, all under the exuberant umbrella of Kenzo. Despite the dazzling allure of fashion entertainment that currently encapsulates the industry, Nigo’s singular vision transcends the cacophony and carves out its own defining path.
As the evening dimmed over the iconic Passerelle Debilly at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, an electrifying buzz radiated from the heart of the global fashion community. Pharrell Williams, a longtime friend and collaborator with Nigo, had graced the evening’s show in a full Kenzo ensemble, accessorized with a resplendent yellow duffle from his own debut collection. This poignant moment in time was a powerful testament to their shared journey, that had begun with the co-founding of Billionaire Boys Club back in 2003.
Nigo, averse to the culture of collaborations that seem to dominate the fashion sphere, has rarely ventured beyond working with the archives of Kenzo’s founder. His arrival at Kenzo marked an introspective journey, focusing on crafting his own definitive signature without being swayed by the allure of popular collaborations. Yet, yielding to expectations, his Spring/Summer 2024 collection marked a distinct shift, featuring the artistic contributions of his close friend and eminent Japanese graphic artist, Verdy.
Straddling between the roots of his own inspiration and the reinterpreted resonance of the western world, Nigo’s collection echoes a captivating narrative of the City Pop movement. Born in the 70s, this genre of Japanese music has seen a revival in the global mainstream, offering a ripe canvas for Nigo’s artistic exploration. It is this juncture of the authentically Japanese and its Western interpretations that the collection adroitly captures, making it an unforgettable showcase of Kenzo‘s global brand image.
To articulate this, Nigo delved into the rich archives of both his own work and Kenzo’s from the era when city pop first flourished. His exceptional tailoring efforts have been a beacon of his tenure at Kenzo, meticulously integrating elements of Japanese tailoring with details reminiscent of the time. Highlights include a pair of wide-pleated dress shorts fused with a hakama and a kimono-inspired double-breasted pinstripe jacket.
Further infusing the collection with a fresh breath was Verdy’s contribution of a reimagined “Kenzo Paris” logo. This signature piece was strategically placed on the back of jackets and ingeniously used as a binding tape on some tailoring. Other standout features included a rose print reinterpreted from the Kenzo archive over pastel summer fabrics, and Nigo’s unassumingly cool and deliberate menswear. While the direction in women’s fashion seems to be in flux, with sexy semi-sheer knits and short shifts, the collection promises a clear perspective.
In the clamor of fashion as entertainment, the echoes of Nigo’s Kenzo Spring/Summer 2024 collection reverberate with remarkable distinction. He remains grounded, unswayed by popular trends and continues to craft a unique path in the industry. This collection marked his fourth season at Kenzo, and it’s safe to say, Nigo is not just warming up – he’s already set the stage on fire.