Nigo, founder of Bape, takes over the reins of Kenzo


Japanese designer Nigo, who is close to Virgil Abloh, has just been appointed artistic director of Kenzo. Another step towards luxury streetwear?

On Wednesday 15 September, the LVMH group announced the appointment of Nigo as artistic director of Kenzo. While the Portuguese designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista had announced his effective departure on June 30th, the Japanese designer will be his successor. His real name is Tomoaki Nagao, and he is considered a legend in the streetwear world thanks to his label A Bathing Ape. He launched his own clothing brand in Tokyo in 1993 and has since made a name for himself in the fashion world. Throughout his career, he has signed numerous collaborations: with Supreme in 2002, Kanye West in 2007, Comme des Garçons in 2012, and Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton’s men’s collections last year.

La collection Louis Vuitton x Nigo

The Louis Vuitton x Nigo collection
Kenzo, the house founded by the great Kenzo Takada, seems to be taking a decisive street turn in its history. “I was born the year Takada Kenzo opened his first shop in Paris. We both graduated from the same fashion school in Tokyo. In 1993, the year Kenzo joined the LVMH group, I started my career in fashion,” Nigo explains on his Instagram.

Kenzo SS20

If previous artistic directors such as Humberto Leon and Carol Lim or Felipe Oliveira Baptista had already shifted the house of Kenzo towards a more underground aesthetic, we can obviously imagine that Nigo will continue the work wonderfully. Between heritage of the land of the rising sun, know-how and streetwear influences.

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