In the cosmopolitan heart of Paris, bridges have emerged as more than mere architectural feats of function and engineering. They’ve morphed into fashion’s favorite runways, a testament to the artistry of juxtaposition and cultural exchange. The KENZO Spring/Summer 2024 collection, helmed by designer Nigo, took the stage on the emblematic Passerelle Debilly, offering a sartorial spectacle that embodied a harmonious interplay between East and West.
Nigo seized upon the symbolic resonance between Kenzo Takada, the late Japanese designer who founded KENZO, and the city of lights – Paris. The designer described this interweaving narrative as “a bridge between cultures,” setting a tone of cultural synergy for his collection that was both touching and transformative.
The emblem of this synergy came through a striking serif font, specially designed by Japanese graphic artist Verdy, to birth a fresh KENZO Paris logo. Stamped proudly across judo jackets, canvas tote bags, and splashed over tees, windbreakers, and parkas, it was a bold testament to the brand’s reinvention while honoring its roots.
Yet, it was far from being a tale of mere logo-stamping. Underneath the umbrella of this refreshed branding, the collection exuded a mature, Parisian sophistication. Eschewing previous preppy themes, Nigo placed his focus on nuanced elegance. His women models glided in sling-back kitten heels, armed with heel protectors to navigate the wooden slats of the bridge. And in true Nigo style, a minor slip-up was no deterrence but a charming testament to the unpredictability of life and fashion.
As the rays of idyllic weather shone down, the collection unfolded in front of a fervent crowd, with celebrities such as Pharrell Williams gracing the occasion. The atmosphere buzzed with the energy of passionate fans who screamed in anticipation for K-pop star Vernon, the newest global brand ambassador.
Nigo’s renowned talent for working with denim was manifest in the show-stopping pieces. Handsome coats, jackets, and cheerleader skirts adorned with an intricate rose motif emerged as a highlight. Cargo jeans for men and an impeccably designed hoodie in an ancient wave print known as seigaiha followed suit, evoking a sense of nostalgia and history.
For a brand that has grappled with its women’s line – due to Nigo’s deep roots in men’s fashion – the Spring/Summer 2024 collection was a breakthrough. Focusing on body-skimming silhouettes, the designer introduced gauzier fabrics and softer colors, pushing KENZO women’s wear towards a more feminized direction.
Music, as an essential cultural expression, also served as an inspiration, with Nigo drawing upon the “city pop” genre born in late ’70s Japan. This added a certain quirkiness to the experience, echoing the brand’s distinctive charm and playfulness.
© Photos: KENZO
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