Nigo Takes Kenzo Monthly, Iris Law Fronts Versace, Valentino Taps Lewis Hamilton

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ONCE A MONTH: Reflecting a sped-up fashion system, and his penchant for constant narrative, Kenzo’s artistic director Nigo is planning to launch monthly campaigns for the French brand.

The first spots for his debut fall 2022 collection are to debut on Kenzo’s social and digital channels on Wednesday, in tandem with the worldwide retail launch.

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“I’m very pleased to be able to finally share my first Kenzo collection with the world,” the Japanese designer told WWD.

British photographer Thurstan Redding, conscripted for the first three stories, captured four models wearing poppy-printed clothes racing across a Paris bridge toting vintage suitcases, the Eiffel Tower visible in the background.

Redding collaborated with stylist Marq Rise, with Christian Eberhard in charge of hair and Christine Corbel doing the makeup.

Nigo has conceived a continuously unfolding story for Kenzo: a thoughtful wardrobe punctuated by monthly limited editions that is both very true to Kenzo Takada’s legacy and to the new designer’s creative vision,” according to the house. “Each month Kenzo will reveal a new creative story paired with exclusive products and campaign images that will highlight the current events of the house throughout the season.”

The brand described Nigo’s approach as a “synthesis between Japanese and Western sartorial traditions, and fundamentally, a common attitude toward fashion: the belief that what you see on the catwalk must lend itself to real life.”

Best known as the founder of A Bathing Ape and a streetwear pioneer in his native Japan, the designer, whose real name is Tomoaki Nagao, unveiled his first coed collection for Kenzo last January at Galerie Vivienne, a covered passage dating back to 1823 and where Kenzo’s founder staged his very first fashion show in April 1970.

Nigo’s debut show for Kenzo helped the brand win $6.6 million in media impact value, and crack the top-three most impactful shows during Paris Fashion Week, after Louis Vuitton in first place and Dior second, according to tabulations by Launchmetrics. “The show’s star-studded front row brought immense media buzz, with various hip-hop artists such as Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Tyler the Creator being mentioned in more than 50 percent of placements related to the brand,” the data and insights firm firm noted.

Kenzo declined to say how much its audience has grown since Nigo arrived last September. The brand, owned by French luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, boasts 2 million followers on Instagram.

Boke flowers and poppies have been blooming all over the feed as Nigo exalts the house’s legacy for cheerful floral prints. Nigo’s interpretation of a poppy print originally designed by Takada appears on T-shirts, shorts, camp shirts, skirts, tailoring and dresses in the first product drop.

Meanwhile in Paris, Kenzo is mounting a month-long takeover of Galerie Lafayette’s Boulevard Haussmann flagship that the retailer describes as “floral and maximalist,” hinged on the poppy.

The brand is taking over the store’s famous windows and installing two immersive pop-ups. The one dedicated to women’s will be plunked at one of the main entrances until June 30, while a men’s shop will debut in Galerie’s dedicated men’s building from June 7 to July 15. — MILES SOCHA

THE LAW OF SUMMER: Iris Law is the latest addition to the Versace gang, following in the steps of the Hadid sisters, Dua Lipa and Maluma, to name just a few.

After attending the Fendace fashion show as a guest in September, the actress and model, who’s the daughter of actors Jude Law and Sadie Frost and goddaughter of Kate Moss, has strengthened her ties with the Italian fashion house by fronting her first campaign for the Medusa label.

Dedicated to the summer season and fittingly dubbed “La Vacanza,” — or “The Holiday,” in English — the campaign portrays Law at the seaside nonchalantly lying on the rocks in a Versace lilac bikini, Barocco printed bathrobe and towel as well as towering platform sandals. In other images photographed by Camille Summers-Valli, Law comes out from the sea in a black bikini with a matching scuba diving mask in her hand or poses in a fuchsia swimsuit and sunglasses in a look exuding Y2K vibes — a mood that matches her own personal style actively documented on social media such as Instagram and TikTok.

Iris Law in Versace’s “La Vacanza” campaign. - Credit: Camille Summers-Valli/Courtesy of Versace
Iris Law in Versace’s “La Vacanza” campaign. - Credit: Camille Summers-Valli/Courtesy of Versace

Camille Summers-Valli/Courtesy of Versace

“Summer vacation luxury should look beautiful and seductive, but also be expressive and fun. We have a star in Iris whose unique attitude has all of these elements and I’m really excited that she’s part of this campaign and now part of the Versace family,” said the brand’s chief creative officer Donatella Versace.

Launching on Wednesday, the campaign also features talents including Liv Parsons, Cheikh Dia, Fedor Kurbatov and Fares Ben Mbarka. Channeling a carefree summer vacation lifestyle, models are portrayed sunbathing or engaged in activities such as beach volley wearing Barocco printed silk shirts and swimming trunks. The house’s signature print also appears on scarves tied around the new La Medusa bag, while footwear showcased in the images includes the Medusa Dimension sliders made from molded and lightweight rubber enriched with swirling Baroque motifs.

Iris Law in Versace’s “La Vacanza” campaign. - Credit: Camille Summers-Valli/Courtesy of Versace
Iris Law in Versace’s “La Vacanza” campaign. - Credit: Camille Summers-Valli/Courtesy of Versace

Camille Summers-Valli/Courtesy of Versace

Law has previously appeared in campaigns for the likes of Marc Jacobs, JW Anderson, Fendi and Dsquared2 and she has appeared on the covers of Vogue Hong Kong, Vogue Korea and Perfect magazine, among others.

Her modeling debut came in 2016, when at just 15 years old she appeared in Miu Miu’s resort 2017 lookbook, then walked the brand’s runway show for the fall 2020 season. During Milan Fashion Week in February, she walked the shows of Roberto Cavalli, Missoni and Andreādamo, too.

Last year, she followed her father Jude through the doors of Dior as a brand ambassador for beauty for the U.K. Law nabbed her first beauty deal in 2017 when she became the face of Burberry Beauty. — SANDRA SALIBIAN

 VALENTINO’S DIVAS: Valentino is taking its collaboration with Sir Lewis Hamilton a step further. The seven-time Formula One World Champion is a friend of the house and has often been photographed in the brand’s designs, and he is now the first Valentino menswear DI.VAs for the Valentino Pink PP advertising campaign.

DI.VAs stands for different values, in sync with Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli‘s endorsement of inclusivity, civil rights and support of diversity.

Pierpaolo Piccioli and Lewis Hamilton - Credit: courtesy of Valentino
Pierpaolo Piccioli and Lewis Hamilton - Credit: courtesy of Valentino

courtesy of Valentino

“In his short Instagram bio, Lewis writes ‘Equal rights for all. Love is all.’ Few words that say a lot,” Piccioli said. “Lewis is an interpreter; he is able to use his energy to express his authentic and precious self. The talent he spreads with his whole persona goes far beyond his sportive excellence and embraces everything that he does. Lewis believes in what he does and shows it with effortless intensity. I have seen him committing himself to social causes with great independence. I have seen him wearing a pink total look and making it personal. I have seen him smile and chat with people in a very laid-back way. By doing anything that pleases him, he pleases us. As a DI.VAs testimonial, he stands for diversity, equality and, most of all, love. I couldn’t think of a better friend for this campaign. It will give an empathetic, human, inspiring message and it will be true, like the person behind the celebrity.”

Valentino praised Hamilton‘s commitment to making a difference through his position and influence, his advocacy work for global equality and his charitable foundation Mission 44, which aims to champion and empower young people from underrepresented groups in the U.K. through strategic partnerships, collaborations and grant-giving.

“Great things happen when we embrace our authentic selves, but even greater things happen when we come together to exchange our visions, values and creativity,” said Hamilton, saying he was honored to partner with Piccioli and Valentino, “a brand I’ve long admired, to celebrate the Pink PP Collection. I always strive to collaborate with like-minded teams who are committed to making the world a better place, regardless of the barriers that stand in our way. So, to come together and collaborate with Valentino on this powerful campaign is really special.”

Whether in the world of cinema, music, literature or sports, the DI.VAs Valentino is teaming up with play a key role in sustaining this same vision of unity, empathy and connection.

Hamilton will also work on Valentino the Narratives, which the company claims is the industry’s first text-only campaign. To this end, Valentino invites renowned international authors and individuals to lend their voices to create individual and impactful campaign layouts.

Launching this fall, Hamilton will lend a personal quote to this initiative on the theme of love, which will be displayed in select windows of independent bookstores within London, marking the first time the campaign has entered the U.K. — LUISA ZARGANI

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