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Kenzo Presents First China Show Along Shanghai’s Huangpu River

Nigo and celebrity appearances helped the event garner more than 20 million mentions on Weibo.

Kenzo's first runway show in China. COURTESY

Kenzo artistic director Nigo’s first show in China landed by the banks of the Huangpu River on Friday night.

The decision to showcase the coed spring 2024 collection in Shanghai, which was unveiled on the Passerelle Debilly in Paris a month ago, was meant to create a similar “East meets West” synergy.

“When we did the Paris show, we already had this location in mind,” explained Sylvain Blanc, Kenzo’s chief executive officer. Despite a year-long wait for local government approval, Kenzo was determined to showcase “the second stage” of its Paris runway at the riverfront park, which provided a dazzling view of Shanghai’s northern Bund.

Kenzo creative director Nigo in Shanghai.

“This part of Shanghai is really a strong representation of Western architecture and what Shanghai has gone through for the last 20 to 30 years,” Blanc added of the parallel view of Western-style historic buildings and the megacity’s futuristic skyline.

Despite typhoon scares, the show went live on schedule. The codes established by Nigo, which blend Eastern influences with Westernized dress codes, were presented on a boardwalk with minor updates that also caught the attention of cruise boat-bound tourists sailing along the Huangpu River.

The nighttime sky of Shanghai with the Kenzo sign.

More than 300 guests and celebrities, such as Chinese boy band Nine Percent member Chen Linong; Tan Jianci, a member of boy band MIC; Chinese singer Sdanny Lee; Chinese actor Xu Weizhou; Taiwanese actress Ouyang Nana; Hong Kong girl band Twins, and Thai actor Jayler Krissanapoom Pibulsonggram came out to support Nigo’s big night in Shanghai. According to fan discussion on the Chinese e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu, Kenzo’s global ambassador Vernon had to make a last-minute cancellation, possibly due to an unofficial K-pop ban in the country.

Despite the minor hiccup, the event received more than 20 million mentions on Weibo at the time of publication.

Kenzo, the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned label, follows Dior and Bottega Veneta as the third luxury brand to put on a repeat show in China. In November, Chanel will reprise its cruise show in Shenzhen.

Meeting shoppers on their home turf after three years of COVID-19 isolation has become an increasingly effective strategy to boost brand awareness, create local engagement, and accelerate top-line growth.

To follow up on the excitement generated by the show, Kenzo will host an exclusive global launch event for the Kenzo Pace runner in Beijing in August.

Kenzo currently has 40 directly operated stores in China. A revamped retail concept prominently featuring the vibrant Kenzo red logo started with the Chengdu Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li flagship launch last November.

Later this year new stores are set to launch in first- and second-tier cities such as Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Changsha, the capital of Hunan province.


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