Kenzo Spring Summer 2024 “Ready-to-Wear… Menswear… Whatever… Who knows… Who cares”. Story by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Photo Courtesy: Kenzo.
It was not always like this. Ready-to-Wear, Menswear, seasons – everything is organized. And it actually makes sense despite what Nigo at Kenzo thinks. This is July – the specific time in the calendar to show collections for men. In September there’s a time to show collections for women. What’s the point to show collection for women at menswear fashion week? None. There are general managers of big distribution lines for men…. so they are not interested in the women’s collections.
But here we are – watching collection for women by Nigo for Kenzo. There are a couple of men though… Do you know what brand are the most dropped? And by dropped I mean dropped into local outlets all over Paris, I also mean cheap. Today you can find Kenzo jackets, shorts, and t-shirts almost in every big and small Parisian outlet for the price no more than $30. And you can find all sizes, you can find Kenzo pieces in the packs…. Why do you think it is? Because nothing is sold, so the brand has to “drop” them. There’s only one brand who can share this place with Kenzo but for another reason – overproduction. It’s Tommy Hilfiger. And the prices are not the same.
And here we are. I place Kenzo on the same level as Tommy Hilfiger. Nigo for Kenzo probably doesn’t care. The show was not only a testament to Nigo’s vision “Drop them dead” but also marked his first collaboration with a fellow artist, Verdy.
Nigo, known for his co-founding of Billionaire Boys Club with Pharrell Williams, demonstrated his mastery of combining elements from different eras and cultures. Drawing inspiration from the resurgence of city pop, a Japanese music movement from the ’70s and ’80s, Nigo explored both his own archive and Kenzo’s to reinterpret classic garments through a modern lens.In short, Flower Power à la Japanese.
Nigo Mixed Japanese tailoring techniques with details and proportions from the era of city pop. Notable pieces included wide-pleated dress shorts combined with a hakama, as well as a kimono-like double-breasted pinstripe jacket. These garments seamlessly merged traditional Japanese aesthetics with contemporary fashion. We all can’t wait to find them soon in the outlet stores.
Verdy’s contribution to the collection was through the reimagined “Kenzo Paris” logo, placed on the back of jackets and used as binding tape on select tailoring. Additionally, a rose print, reinterpreted from the Kenzo archive, adorned pastel summer fabrics, infusing the lineup with a sense of lightness.
While Nigo’s menswear collection exuded his trademark cool and intentional style, the direction of the women’s designs appeared somewhat unresolved. Although the inclusion of decisively sexy semi-sheer knits and short shifts signaled a clearer point of view, there is still room for further refinement and definition in this area.
The parallels between Nigo’s show and Pharrell Williams’s recent event are hard to ignore. Both have made contributions to the fashion industry, and their shows reflect the shift towards fashion as entertainment. The buzz around celebrity attendees and the show’s Instagrammable location at the Passerelle Debilly, near the Eiffel Tower, emphasized this new era of fashion presentation.
Unlike many other designers who followed the online trend of quiet luxury, Nigo’s collection stood out by doing its own thing. With four seasons under his belt, this outing demonstrated that Nigo is fully warmed up and ready for more.
Overall, Nigo’s Spring Summer 2024 collection for Kenzo showcased his ability to navigate the interplay between authentic Japanese influences and Western reinterpretations. With each season he continues to solidify his vision for the brand, leaving the original Kenzo aesthetic out.