When Virgil Abloh took the helm of Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton's menswear line back in 2018, he took one of the first steps towards fracturing the longstanding divide between streetwear and what we've historically deemed "high fashion." But his watershed appointment was only the beginning. In the years since, we've watched what previously appeared to be an insurmountable chasm dwindle down to a fine line. The era of a firmly entrenched dichotomy between high and low art in the world of fashion has come to a close.
No news has synthesized the end of this divide's reign of terror quite like yesterday's announcement that Nigo would be taking over the role of Creative Director at KENZO. As the founder of A Bathing Ape, Nigo is arguably the founder of modern streetwear. Without Bape, we wouldn't have ICECREAM; we wouldn't have CDG Play; we certainly wouldn't have Off-White. And although the origination of more skateboarding/surfing-native brands like Stüssy and Supreme may predate or coincide with Bape's historic founding, it was Nigo who first developed a streetwear brand intended to be just that, a brand you flex on the streets.