Kenzo announced the appointment of Bathing Ape’s Nigo as the new Artistic Director on Wednesday after rumors had spread that the talented Japanese would take over the running of the Paris-based fashion house.
Nigo, who lives in Tokyo and is known for his inventiveness, succeeds Felipe Oliveira Baptista, who left Kenzo last June after just two years. He left just three months after the death of founder Kenzo Takada in January 2020 at the age of 81.
Oliveira Baptista joined Kenzo in July 2019, replacing Carol Lim and Humberto Leon after the American duo worked for the house for seven years.
Kenzo is one of a dozen fashion brands belonging to the giant French luxury conglomerate LVMH, which took over the house from its founder in 1993.
“I am delighted to welcome Nigo as Artistic Director of Maison Kenzo. The arrival of an extremely talented Japanese designer will enable us to write a new chapter in the history of the house that Takada Kenzo founded. I am convinced that Nigo’s creativity and innovation, as well as his ties to the history of the house, will express the full potential of Kenzo, “said Sidney Toledano, Chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group and member of LVMH’s Executive Committee.
Nigo’s appointment will take effect on September 20, 2021.
“I am proud to have been named Artistic Director of Kenzo. I was born the year Takada Kenzo san opened his first store in Paris. We both graduated from the same fashion school in Tokyo,” Nigo said in a statement , using the Japanese term “san” as an expression of respect.
“I started my career in the fashion industry in 1993, the year Kenzo joined the LVMH Group. Kenzo san’s approach to creating originality was based on his understanding of many different cultures. This is also the essence of my own philosophy of creativity Taking on the Kenzo san spirit of craftsmanship and creating a new Kenzo is the biggest challenge of my 30 year career that I want to tackle with the team. Finally, I’d like to thank Bernard Arnault and Sidney Toledano for letting me gave us this wonderful opportunity, “concluded Nigo.
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