Kenzo has a new brand symbol, and it does not growl
Surprising it is not that Kenzo’s creative director Nigo would come up with a new logo of sort to mark the start of his reign at the LVMH-owned house. Mr Nigo (aka Tomoaki Nagao) is, after all, known for his cute graphics, as seen in A Bathing Ape (although the hirsute simian trade mark is not quite adorable) and Human Made. It is not known if the Kenzo tiger visage, first introduced by designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim in 2011 after Kenzo Takada’s stepping-down, will be retired or take a back seat, but it is quite obvious that the freshly-launched flower, a poppy-hued bloom of the quince bush known in Japan as a boke (pronounced as bo-kay), will be given immense prominence.
Flowers are, of course, almost synonymous with Kenzo, but a single bloom has never been used atop the logotype (now modified, also by Mr Nigo), as applied on the clothes (shown below). In fact, the five-petal flower is so seemly to the joie de vivre of the brand that we see it taking over the tiger in popularity very soon (wait till the Year of the Tiger is over!). There is a charming sweetness and innocence about the drawing, as if the outlined flower was plucked from a children’s book. The wide-eyed simplicity commensurate to the not-quite-intense fierceness of Mr Nigo’s street style.
Although the boke was shown in Mr Nigo’s debut Kenzo collection for autumn/winter 2022, an 8-piece limited-edition drop for the upcoming spring season will be available in Japan and official online store for the rest of the world, comprising a coach jacket (which the designer wore to take the bow at the end of the runway show), a five-button cardi, a long-sleeved T-shirt, a hoodie (oversized, of course), a pair of belted cargo pants and a version in the form of a skirt (both in a Japanese cotton twill that reportedly was inspired by the uniforms of Gurkhas), and even a blanket. Prices start from ¥34,100 (about S$400).
And just as unsurprising is Kenzo’s foray into offerings for the Metaverse. The brand has also announced that it will debut a limited-edition collection of 100 NFTs to celebrate the launch of the Kenzo Boke Flower collection, which we presume to be digital clothing with the said blossom used conspicuously. Wearable for your wardrobe or collectibles for your avatars? Perhaps it is not at all a choice.