The KENZO Spring-Summer 2024 Women’s and Men’s Collection consolidates the codes conceived for the Maison by Artistic Director Nigo in a new generational elegance. Presented on the Passerelle Debilly – the footbridge that connects Palais de Tokyo with the Eiffel Tower over the River Seine – the proposal bridges the legacy of Kenzo Takada with the contemporary vision of Nigo, and projects it in the memory of City Pop. The unavoidable radio soundtrack of the designer’s teenage years in 1980s’ Japan, the multi-genre – a mélange of pop, funk and boogie – was accompanied by a graphic preppy and poppy look, the spirit of which lightly infuses the proposition.
The collection stages a number of code-switches between the Japanese and Western wardrobes. The judo uwagi is re-contextualised as a chore jacket, and seigaiha – an ancient wave print – is adapted in indigo. The women’s silhouette cuts an intensified elegant line in the lightweight layering of translucent fabrics adorned with reinvigorated archival motifs. The collection features a creative dialogue with the Japanese graphic artist Verdy – a long-time friend of Nigo – who interprets the KENZO logo in his signature swashed font, emblazoned across garments and accessories.
City Pop scored a growing exuberance in post-war Japan, and coincided with some of the most memorable moments in the career of Kenzo Takada. In the eyes of Nigo, the recent reappraisal of the genre around the world – by young generations entirely separated from the time and culture that originally paved its way – serves as a powerful analogy of the relevance of the KENZO legacy in the contemporary mentality. The show’s soundtrack was created by Cornelius – a contemporary, friend and occasional collaborator of Nigo since the mid-1990s – who shares the designer’s appreciation of City Pop in a score that reflects the genre.