Visitors to Paris ahead of the holidays can tick several boxes — cool graphics, designer allure, fashion buzz and cultural awareness — if they shop for souvenirs or gifts at Kenzo’s new pop-up store at 66 Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
The high-visibility location, which opened to the public over the weekend, showcases elements from Kenzo’s spring 2024 men’s and women’s collections done in collaboration with Japanese graphic artist Verdy.
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Kenzo’s artistic director Nigo tapped Verdy to create a new Kenzo Paris logo in a striking serif font, which appears on judo jackets, sweatshirts, other jerseys and canvas tote bags. It’s also repeated as a busy print for T-shirts, windbreakers, skirts and parkas.
Pharrell Williams, one of Nigo’s closest friends and co-conspirator, has already adopted a Kenzo Paris sweatshirt and has been wearing it constantly. Kenzo just shipped him more in 15 different colors.
The eye-catching font is also used for other signifiers of the house — 1970, the year Kenzo was founded, and 18 Rue Vivienne, the address of the Paris headquarters — that appear on a range of woven, knit, denim and leather pieces. Some styles are considered genderless.
On Saturday night, a Kenzo Paris scarf wrapped around his neck to ward off the sub-zero temperatures in Paris, Nigo joined LVMH Fashion Group chief executive officer Sidney Toledano, Kenzo CEO Sylvain Blanc and some of the coolest kids in Paris to christen the narrow but deep store.
Nigo said he’s worked with Verdy on his other projects, including his Human Made brand, but waited until he was more established at Kenzo before inviting him to do a collaboration.
No fan of heaving crowds, Nigo said his most vivid memory of the Champs-Élysées was attending the opening of a Louis Vuitton flagship on the avenue many years ago.
The Kenzo x Verdy collection will be showcased at the Champs-Élysées pop-up until Dec. 17, and at 10 Corso Como in Seoul from Dec. 16 to 26.
The twin pop-ups feed Nigo’s central theme at Kenzo — creating a bridge between Eastern and Western cultures. Kenzo x Verdy merchandise will also be sold on kenzo.com from Friday to Sunday and then in physical Kenzo stores from Monday.
Verdy’s graphics — drawing on skateboarding, hip-hop and manga as inspirations — are seen as a fusion of Japanese and Western streetwear iconography.
The Osaka-born, Tokyo-based creative was recently appointed artistic director of K-pop sensation Blackpink. Some of his most notable projects include Girls Don’t Cry, Wasted Youth, his panda rabbit character Vick and, most recently, Visty.
Verdy has also worked with such famous names as Nike, Levi’s, Instagram, Coachella and Dover Street Market.
In tandem with the global launch is a dedicated campaign lensed by Paul Kooiker that will appear on social channels, online and in-store.
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