Kenzo recently announced that they are hiring Nigo as the brand’s creative director. My first reaction to this was that it devalued Nigo. My perception of Kenzo – and this is informed by my interactions with people wearing Kenzo – is that it is boring and in a way, entirely associated with new money. There’s a lack of taste involved. A couple t-shirts with a Kenzo spell out. An ill-fitting sweater with the kaleidoscopic tiger on the front. Of course, this is simply my experience, and the only times I really deal with Kenzo is when I see people wearing it in the Arndale or similarly, that last unfortunate time I found myself at Bicester Village. For me, that target market is doing a disservice to Nigo.
But then a brand is more than the people who’re wearing it. And additionally, a brand is more than their worst item of clothing. For example, this Kenzo Alpaca Wool sweater is really quite beautiful, boldly wielding stripes of colour in a bohemian way that’s very in line with the late Kenzo Takada’s original intentions.
Nigo gave significant praise to Takada, taking to instagram to explain that he: “was born in the year that Takada Kenzo san opened his first store in Paris. We both graduated from the same fashion school in Tokyo. In 1993, the year that Kenzo joined the LVMH Group, I started my career in fashion. 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.”
If Nigo can bring Kenzo back to those intentions, then I’m all for it. Time will tell.