Fashion: Kenzo, towards the Z generation?

It has been clear for a handful of years already: to be bankable in fashion, having the science of clothing is no longer enough, you also have to be able to boast of a media surface powered by social networks, especially those who speakto young and very young (Instagram and Tiktok).The very recent Nigo appointment to the artistic direction of Kenzo (LVMH group) provides additional proof.


If his name is not necessarily known in France, this "boomer" (he is 50 years old) is a star in Japan and in the streetwear galaxy. He owes him in particular to Bathing Ape, a clothing label founded in 1993 and very popular with adolescents. Sneakers, t-shirts, hoodies, baggys, camo print (camouflage), very identified logo (a monkey head in echoes to the planet of the apes): Nigo (his real name Tomoaki Nagao) successfully declined the lexicon of streetwear luxury. He sold "BAPE" in 2011 for some $ 2.8 million (around 2.4 million euros) and released this case in 2013. Without lifting his foot, it is clearly not his style, rather Bring to hyperactivity and collaboration (collaboration) All -round: with Pharrell Williams for the Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream brands; with Uniqlo; With Adidas, Coca-Cola or Levi’s (among others) with his following label, Human Made; With Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton, Abloh citing him as one of his references.

Suddenly, his appointment appears as a double blow: after the Portuguese Felipe Oliveira Baptista, thanked in June after having succeeded two years at the American duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, the Kenzo brand returns with its Japanese roots, re -registed ostensibly in the wake of the founder Kenzo Takada, died in early October 2020. What the impetrant also underlined in the press release announcing his appointment, Moult "San" (sir) in support: "I was born the year when Takada Kenzo Sanzo opened its first store in Paris. We were both graduated from the same fashion school in Tokyo. In 1993, the year Kenzo joined the LVMH group, I started my fashion career. Kenzo San's approach to create originality went through his understanding of many different cultures. It is also the essence of my own philosophy of creativity. Inheriting the spirit of Kenzo San craftsmanship to create a new Kenzo is the biggest challenge for my thirty years of career, which I intend to take up with the team. "

Buzz promise

Mode: Kenzo, en direction de la génération Z ?

Sidney Toledano, Chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, posed the roadmap: "The arrival of an extremely talented Japanese creator will allow us to write a new page in the history of the house that Takada Kenzo has founded. I am convinced that Nigo's creativity and innovation as well as its attachment to the history of the house will fully express all the potential of Kenzo. " What will this page be? The previous one was too brief to our taste: with Felipe Oliveira Baptista, a subtlety settled, more poetic than marketing, we told ourselves that there was a life beyond the hammered tiger pattern ad Libitum, that Kenzo could come out of the "Kids" box while retaining its original vitality. This moult was intriguing, elegant and subtle. But she was in full explosion of the covid, during life in parentheses. Nigo's appointment corresponds to the recovery and it is a promise of buzz, of efficiency connection with the trend. We see the temptation of gimmick for the coveted generation Z (born from 2000). May she be irrigated by the spontaneity and the inclusiveness that Kenzo San diffused.