Kenzo names Nigo of A Bathing Ape as new artistic director
Kenzo on Wednesday announced that it has named Tomoaki 'Nigo' Nagao of A Bathing Ape as new artistic director following rumors that the talented Japanese creator would be taking over at the Paris-based house.
Nigo, a notably inventive figure based in Tokyo, succeeds Felipe Oliveira Baptista who left Kenzo last June after just two years at the house. His departure came just nine months after the founder Kenzo Takada died in October 2020, aged 81.
Oliveira Baptista joined Kenzo in July 2019, when he succeeded Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, after the American-duo’s seven-year stint at the house.
Kenzo is one of a dozen fashion brands within the giant French luxury conglomerate LVMH, which acquired the house from its founder back in 1993.
“I am happy to welcome Nigo as the artistic director of the Maison Kenzo. The arrival of an extremely talented Japanese designer will allow us to write a new chapter in the history of the House that Takada Kenzo-san founded. 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,” said Sidney Toledano, chairman and CEO of the LVMH Fashion Group, and member of the executive committee of LVMH.
The appointment of Nigo is effective on September 20, 2021.
“I am proud to have been appointed artistic director of Kenzo. I was born in the year that Takada Kenzo-san [Mr. Kenzo Takada] opened his first store in Paris. We both graduated from the same fashion school in Tokyo,” said Nigo in a statement.
“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 craftmanship 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,” concluded Nigo.
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