Drawing on the Ivy League spirit that infuses the brand’s collections, Artistic Director Nigo has designed KENZO Varsity Jungle, a playful collection of T-shirts, sweatshirts and cardigans for Spring 2023 that reflect both the graphic codes of the house and the passion for nature which was such a hallmark of founder Kenzo Takada.
The collection showcases two distinct prints—the elephant and the tiger—that pay tribute to Takada and his legacy. The elephant, said to have the greatest memory of all animals, was Takada’s favorite animal. The late designer, who was himself known for having a good memory, loved to feature representations of elephants in his collections, both as a motif and a symbol. The tiger is another animal that inspired Takada; the very first tiger motif appeared in KENZO
collections in 1975.
The elephant graphic that Nigo has designed is informed by 1950s sailor tattoo imagery, while the tiger design, also created by Nigo, was introduced as part as KENZO’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection.
The elephant varsity wardrobe includes a printed cotton T-shirt (with graphic applied to the front and back), an embroidered jersey sweatshirt and a jersey cardigan. These are available in black, white, blue and pink. The tiger varsity also comprises a printed T-shirt (with graphic applied to the front and back) and an embroidered sweatshirt and cardigan, which are available in black, white,
red and green.
To illustrate the launch of the Varsity Jungle collection, KENZO has teamed up with photographer Frank Lebon to produce a campaign celebrating the values of togetherness and closeness of families and crews throughout KENZO’s iconic Tiger and Elephant designs. The visuals showcase a vibrant crew of characters and are constructed and styled to project a strong sense of community.