Kenzo has announced Japanese designer Nigo as the house’s new artistic director. Effective immediately, Nigo succeeds Felipe Oliveira Baptista who left in June 2021 after just three seasons.
Tomoaki Nagao, known as Nigo, is a multi-faceted talent who works between the worlds of art, fashion and music (his CV includes: DJ, record producer, and a previous editor of Popeye Magazine), having founded and sold cult streetwear giant BAPE, co-created Billionaire Boys Club with Pharrell Williams, and launched the brand Human Made in 2010. While Nigo’s ties with the LVMH group can be seen more recently, via Virgil Abloh’s debut collaboration at Louis Vuitton, LV². This appointment marks the first time a Japanese designer has been at the helm of Kenzo since Takada Kenzo san resigned from his namesake label in 1999.
“I am proud to have been appointed artistic director of Kenzo,” says Nigo. “I 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. 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. Finally, I would like to thank Bernard Arnault and Sidney Toledano for giving me this wonderful opportunity.”