Kenzo Appoints Nigo as Its Newest Artistic Director

Creator of A Bathing Ape and Human Made joins Kenzo as their newest artistic director.

Sep 17, 2021 | By luxuo
nigo kenzo new artistic director
Image: Kenzo

Kenzo has appointed Nigo as its new artistic director, from September 20. The news comes after Felipe Oliviera Baptista’s departure earlier this year.

He will be the first Japanese designer to join the fashion house since Kenzo Takada resigned from his namesake label in 1999. 

In an official statement, the CEO and Chairman of LVMH, Sidney Toledano shared: “I am convinced that the creativity and innovation of Nigo, as well as his attachment to the history of the House, will fully express all the potential of Kenzo.” 

Nigo is best known for his works in the streetwear space, having launched A Bathing Ape (Bape) in 1992, one of Japan’s earliest streetwear brands. Famous for its camouflage prints, shark-graphic hoodie, and sneakers with a star and lightning bolt on both sides. 

His reach then expanded to the US and Europe with the help of Pharrell Williams, an early supporter of Nigo and his brand, with whom he has also launched Billionaire Boys Club. Nigo departed from Bape and then started a new label, Human Made, in 2010. He’s also the creative director of Uniqlo‘s UT line.

Nigo’s first designs are expected to come out later this year.

“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,” Nigo shared in an official release. 

“Inheriting the spirit of Kenzo san’s craftsmanship to create a new Kenzo is the greatest challenge of my 30-year career, which I intend to achieve together with the team.”

The fashion industry has seen numerous personnel moves in recent times. Micaela le Divelec Lemmi left her post as CEO of Italian luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo earlier this month. She will be succeeded by Marco Gobbetti, Burberry’s current CEO next year.

Joshua Schulman, who has prior experience at Coach, Gucci, Bergdorf Goodman and Jimmy Choo, has taken over as CEO of Michael Kors. He will also succeed John Idol as chief executive officer of Capri Holdings in September 2022.

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