KENZO by Nigo x Levi’s® fuses West and East

KENZO by Nigo x Levi’s® fuses West and East

by Juliette Eleuterio
2 min

Denim gets a Parisian-meets-Japanese new lease of life with this Levi’s® x KENZO collaboration for Fall 2023, the first under the creative direction of Nigo.

The collaboration pays homage to Kenzo Takada, the founder of the Japanese brand, and highlights his fascination with the Americana aesthetic and Japanese traditional construction. These interests are emulated by Nigo, having an extensive archive in Japan of American denim pieces, including some original Levi Strauss & Co. initially designed for miners and cowboys.

These cultural and historical references are rehashed in this collaboration made up of around 20 pieces collections that includes trousers, tops, jackets all created with Kaihara premium Japanese denim. We also see a denim jacket with detachable faux fur, another decorated with fringe inspired by the KENZO JUNGLE line in the ‘80s, as well as a denim tie, shirts, and of course, 501® jeans.

When it comes to denim, there’s not much to do to modernise the timeless fabric, so Nigo put most of his efforts into the detailings, and it paid off. A co-branded logo can be found on pieces that fuses the denim brand’s classic “two horse pull” iconography with KENZO’s logo. We also see the metal shanks decorated and embossed with KENZO’s signature Boke flower, while KENZO’s logo appears on tops above pockets, reminiscent of name badges early 20th century factory workers would sport.

To keep in line with the Eats-meets-West theme, Nigo tapped the Japanese filmmaker Umi Ishihara to capture the campaign. Shot in Kyoto, Japan, the video campaign follows the collection’s journey in two traditional sansou mountain villas. Mongolian photographer Ryu Ika captured the campaign’s still imagery, injecting it with her own distinct style.

The full collection launches today in KENZO and Levi’s® stores worldwide as well as their online websites.

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