In a sprawling metropolis, where tradition finds its dance partner in the underground, Kenzo’s Fall/Winter 2023 campaign emerges, beautifully encapsulating this dialogue.
Drawing deeply from his own inspirations, Kenzo’s Artistic director Nigo, juxtaposes Kyoto and Osaka’s identities, two cities radiating contrasting energies. Osaka boasts of the vibrancy from its street culture and the pulsating energy of its underground youth, while Kyoto revels in its heritage landscapes, nestled with a discreet musical scene. The campaign, captured by Keizo Kitajima and videographed by Frank Lebon, embodies this cosmopolitan spirit, bringing to life the contrasts of Nigo’s homeland.
“The encounter between Osaka and Kyoto is deeply rooted in the very essence of the Fall/Winter 2023 collection,” the campaign shares. It’s an appeal to the individual rather than a predefined mold. Elegantly refined across cultures, times, and fashion trends, this wardrobe presents an interaction of streets, not just from Japan but also from the US and England, all resonating with memories from the ‘Swinging Sixties’.
Highlighting the current youth of the two Japanese cities, the campaign brings forth their personal expressions, both within Japan and beyond. It’s a stylish suspension between traditional and modern clothing constructs, merging Eastern and Western wardrobe elements. Adding to the allure, Vernon steps in, accompanied by a special cameo from Nigo himself.
The street portraits by Keizo Kitajima are a delightful series showcasing daily exchanges between city dwellers and their natural habitats. British photographer Frank Lebon further amplifies this concept in his video, set to the haunting beats of “Dreamer” – a 1985 Urban Dance track by Shinobu Narita with lyrics penned by Minako Yoshida. An iconic scene sees Nigo engaged in a game of shogi at Kyoto’s Shosei-en, donned in the collection’s hallmark discontinuous stripe Dazzle motif – a tribute to Kenzo Takada’s 1980s archives.
The ‘Osaka segment’ of the campaign was filmed at the following locations: Jan Jan Yokocho, New Star Game Centre, Tai Yoshi Hyakuban, Universe Yokocho, Shinsekai, Amerikamura Mitsutera Kaikan, Kinryu Ramen, and Namba Bears. The Kyoto sites include the Daikakuji bamboo forest, the Kamo River, the Seiryuden observation bridge, and Shosei-en.