On 12 April, the ArtScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands, usually a tranquil institution of erudition, was lined with screaming fans and flashing cameras as some of the most famous fashion icons from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines gathered for an exclusive, exhilarating event. And it was all thanks to one name: Kenzo. The Parisian Maison had chosen the iconic museum to unveil and celebrate the Varsity Jungle, its latest collection to embody Kenzoʼs bold and playful spirit.
Among those in attendance were Keung To from popular Hong Kong boyband Mirror, Taiwanese artist Austin Lin, and Thai actor and fashion icon Jumpol Adulkittiporn ‒ better known by his stage name, Off. Singapore’s very own Glenn Yong, who recently graced the cover of Augustman, was also there. He wore a vibrant orange shirt-and-tie ensemble that featured an elephant head motif that’s definitive of the Varsity Jungle collection.
The shirt was among several iconic pieces designed by Japanese deejay and fashion designer Nigo, who is coming into his third year as Kenzoʼs Artistic Director. In his Varsity Jungle collection for Spring/Summer 2023, he drew inspiration from elephants and tigers as they were emblematic of the strength and boldness that he wanted for this collection.
It was also his way of paying tribute to the late Kenzo Takada, whose favourite animal was the elephant. This is also a more assured expression of Nigoʼs unique East-meets-West vision, his bold use of colours and his unapologetic optimism as he experiments with forms and silhouettes. It aligns with Kenzo’s futuristic vision of vitality and self-expression, and further cements its appeal to Gen Zs and younger millennials.
These pieces were placed in a jungle of larger-than-life art installations and industro-pop setups, and were accompanied by the music and atmospherics of DJ Prav. And in this jungle, this mighty jungle, Kenzo truly came alive.