Kenzo RTW Spring 2024

Kenzo RTW Spring 2024

Bridges have suddenly become fashion’s preferred runway, and Nigo chose a symbolic one: The pedestrian-only Passerelle Debilly, one of the spans over the Seine River that connects the Palais de Tokyo and the Eiffel Tower.
Kenzo Paris, get it? Nigo has made the interplay between late Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada and the French capital a central theme of his Kenzo. “A bridge between cultures,” is how he put it during a preview.

For spring, the designer conscripted Japanese graphic artist Verdy to create a striking serif font for a new Kenzo Paris logo, which he stamped on judo jackets and canvas tote bags, and repeated as a busy print for T-shirts, windbreakers and parkas.

Despite all that branding, Nigo’s spring women’s and men’s collections exuded more of a grown-up, Parisian sophistication this season as the designer eased up on preppy and collegiate themes, putting slingback kitten heels on all his female models, and adding a little heel protectors so shoes wouldn’t get stuck in the bridge’s wooden slats.

One did, but no matter. Like his best buddy Pharrell Williams, who paraded his debut Louis Vuitton collection on the Pont Neuf three nights early and brought his mom to the Kenzo show, Nigo was blessed with idyllic weather, an up-for-it crowd, and hundreds of frenzied teens screaming for K-pop star Vernon, the Seventeen band member who just signed on as global brand ambassador.

The Japanese designer has a knack with denim, and he opened his display with handsome coats and jackets for women and little cheerleader skirts, a rose motif embedded in the dark fabric. Later came terrific cargo jeans for guys and a crisp hoodie in a stylized fish-scale print.

Kenzo womenswear has had some growing pains — Nigo’s background is in men’s fashion — and this collection marked a big improvement, more resolutely feminine with body-skimming silhouettes, gauzier fabrics and gentler colors.

Speaking of bridging cultures, Nigo drew inspiration from “city pop,” a genre of music spawned in late ’70s Japan and now enjoying a global renaissance. It added a quirky charm to the whole experience.

Kenzo to Bid Adieu to Felipe Oliveira Baptista

Kenzo to Bid Adieu to Felipe Oliveira Baptista

Designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista – who brought a sophisticated and artistic touch to Kenzo over a two-year stint – is to step down from his role of artistic director, WWD has learned.
His exit from the Paris-based fashion house, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, will take effect on June 30 when his employment contract will arrive at its term.
“I have been honored to serve this amazing house and the legacy of its founder Kenzo Takada,” Oliveira Baptista said in a statement. “I would like to thank my teams for their talent and dedication.”
Sylvie Colin, chief executive officer of Kenzo, expressed her gratitude to the designer “for his talent, creativity and contribution to the artistic development of our house.”

It is understood a successor will be named in due course, and that the brand is likely to pursue a new direction.

Felipe Oliveira Baptista 
Courtesy of Kenzo

Oliveira Baptista was partial to enveloping, nomadic silhouettes, and had returned the brand to the women’s calendar of Paris Fashion Week. His tenure coincided with the death last October of founder Kenzo Takada, due to complications from COVID-19, and he let color, pattern and energy erupt on the runway for fall 2021 as an ode to the Japanese fashion maverick.
In another tribute, last November he launched a Kenzo capsule line in homage to Kansai Yamamoto, who also passed away last year.

The designer tweaked the brand’s logo and tiger emblem, and also oversaw its sport line.
Oliveira Baptista was previously the creative director of Lacoste from 2010 to 2018, and he succeeded designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, who left Kenzo after eight years at the house to focus on their U.S.-based business, Opening Ceremony.
Known for his artfully constructed and experimental creations, Oliveira Baptista hails from Portugal and created his namesake label in 2003 with his partner Séverine Oliveira Baptista, a year after winning the main fashion prize at the Festival d’Hyères. The brand has been on hold since 2014.
A graduate of  Kingston University, Oliveira Baptista took home the Andam Award in both 2003 and 2005.
See also:
Felipe Oliveira Baptista Talks Shedding New Light on the Kenzo Legacy

Kenzo Takada Dies at 81 of COVID-19-Related Complications

7 Facts to Know About Fashion Designer Kenzo Takada

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