In a statement shared Wednesday, Sidney Toledano—chairman and CEO of the LVMH Fashion Group—said he was “very happy” to welcome the A Bathing Ape creator to the brand. The move, Toledano added, will allow Kenzo to “write a new page” in their legacy.
“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,” Toledano said.
For NIGO, the appointment marks what he described as the “greatest challenge” of his decades-strong career.
“Kenzo san’s approach to creating originality was through his understanding of many different cultures,” NIGO, who now becomes the first Japanese artistic director for the luxury house since 1999, said. “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.”
Back in April, Kenzo announced that it would be parting ways with Felipe Oliveira Baptista, who had previously served in the role for about two years.
Among those quick to congratulate NIGO on this new chapter was Pharrell, whose extended history of collaborations with the proven multi-hyphenate is well-documented.
“ASCEND! ASCEND! ASCEND! Cheers General!” he wrote in the comments of an Instagram post early Wednesday morning:
The artistic director appointment is effective as of Sept. 20. Per a Women’s Wear Daily report, the first collection from NIGO for women and men will be revealed during next January’s Paris Fashion Week.