Kenzo brings its SS24 City Pop collection to Shanghai

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KENZO, broadening its presence in the Chinese luxury market, just hosted their first fashion show in Shanghai displaying its spring-summer 2024 collection. The show took place at the Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal which runs adjacent to the Huangpu River.

The show marks a momentous occasion being the first time throughout the brand’s 53-year history that a show has been hosted in China. The brand explained that it is, “reinforcing its strong commitment and growing presence in the Chinese market” by putting on the event.

With Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower serving as the show’s backdrop, the venue was chosen specifically to mirror Kenzo’s SS24 Paris show. The Paris show, taking place in June, was set upon the Passerelle Debilly – a footbridge linking the Eiffel Tower to the Seine.

Nigo, Kenzo’s creative director, chose a similar setting to the previous show to metaphorically and visually reinforce the House’s code of ‘East Meets West’.

Nigo, having worked alongside key fashion figures such as Marc JacobsVirgil AblohPharrell and more, demonstrated his infallible expertise throughout the SS24 offering. Having always been a prestigious fashion figure since launching his streetwear label – A Bathing Ape – Nigo has become known for intertwining his American streetwear signatures with Kenzo’s eclectic prints and preppy style.

Combining Japanese silhouettes with Western influences, Nigo works on further modernising Kenzo Takada’s vision for the brand. The SS24 collection is heavily inspired by City Pop – a Japanese Pop music genre which emerged in the 1970s.

Recently, however, there has been a rebirth of City Pop amongst younger generations which Nigo wanted to analyse and interrogate through this collection. The models paraded down the runway accompanied by a soundtrack by Cornelius, an artist whom Nigo has collaborated with since the 90s.

Heavily juxtaposing the string quartet soundtrack of the autumn-winter 2023 collection, the City Pop music reiterates the energy and youthfulness of the SS24 ensemble.

Drawing upon the House’s code of intertwining the East with the West, Nigo further subverts and reimagines traditional Japanese dress. Exhibiting blazers fitted with kimono sleeves and judo-style jackets permeating a Western flair, the collection perfectly balances modernity and tradition.

Harkening back to the archives of the House, Nigo utilises a rose motif which features upon many dresses, denim pieces and more. Additionally, new to this collection, Nigo called on Japanese graphic artist Verdy to create a Kenzo Paris Logo.

Combing masculinity with femininity, elegance with sportswear and fine tailoring with utilitarian counterparts, he presented a playful, adventurous collection to echo the funky, fun atmosphere of City Pop.

Transparent, delicate layering pieces create beautifully elongated silhouettes in contrast to the more structural suits – formal wear pieces have been created with indigo denim utilising a series of different washes and finishes from Kenzo’s past jeans collections of the 80s and 90s.

The bags serve as another example of where Nigo effortlessly switches between Japanese and Western fashion codes. Tote bags, backpacks and more are made with functionality in mind – their silhouettes link indubitably to historical Japanese bags used for carrying sake. Moreover, shoulder bags from the collection are made in the image of rice packaging to further draw upon Japanese archival fashion.

Nigo’s ability to present new iterations of key looks from the Paris show displays his uncontrollable desire for growth and development within the House. The collection – albeit with a focus on the younger generation – appeals to all, thanks to the smooth blending of eras and decades of dress.

by Sophie Richardson

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