NIGO’s backwards-looking KENZO collections are setting the tone for the future of menswear. It’s everything that the Human Made founder perfected with his previous labels — wearable workwear silhouettes rich in graphic appeal — but kicked up a notch Emeril-style by luxury fabrication.
The first proper KENZO by NIGO collection, Fall/Winter 2022, began rolling out in June following a series of micro drops.
KENZO’s website will host the second delivery on July 6 and, for those following allowing, it’s nothing new for NIGO’s vision of KENZO. And that’s okay, because the Japanese designer isn’t focused on reinventing the wheel, just making the best possible use of it.
This drop is full of NIGO’s contemporary twist on KENZO’s classic tiger imagery, all fun and no fierce. A third and final drop, planned to launch later this summer, will further flesh out this vision.
There’s only a little of the original rawr xD tiger logo left in NIGO’s KENZO — the classic T-shirts and hoodies remain, but in limited supply.
Instead, the designer is focused on granting the French label’s mascot a bit more dignity through flipped archival references, reinterpreting illustrations done by house founder Kenzo Takada as fresh prints.
Reversible stadium jackets, track jackets, Western shirts, cardigans, denim overalls, fair isle-style sweater vests — it’s all here and it’s all rooted in the retro menswear that NIGO himself has fastidiously recreated over the past decade through other outlets.
The newly abstracted KENZO logo and classic rectangle branding is given place of prominence alongside more abstract watercolor-style tigers and splashy flowers borrowed directly from Takada’s personal sketchbook.
Though KENZO’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection is perhaps the more stylistically adventurous offering, Fall/Winter 2022 is a worthy intro to NIGO’s world.
Easy in shape and style, it gives NIGO’s fans and longtime KENZO followers an easy entry into the reformatted house. And, best of all, NIGO’s timeless blazers and reversible hoodies will never go out of style.