Is there anything NIGO can’t do? Seemingly not.
Last month the designer picked up the Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix Award (arguably Japan’s most prestigious fashion accolade), one month after single-handedly fronting a new-look Levi’s revival.
That follows his ongoing work as the artistic director for KENZO as well as his role as head designer for Humanmade.
So the fact he has found time to team up with the Japanese Football Association (JFA) and adidas to design a handful of looks for the Japan National Team for the impending World Cup is pretty impressive.
Comprising jerseys, zip-up track tops, shorts, and accessories, the Special Collection (as it’s officially named) draws inspiration from the traditional culture and craftsmanship of Japan, with a minimalistic and classical design approach.
The combination of “Pale Mauve’ and “Fresh Green” reflects the symbolic colors of cherry blossoms and “Sakuramochi” (the seasonal confectionery, widely-loved by the people of Japan), while hidden inside of the collar is the special “OGIN” signature, adding another unique detail to the minimalistic design of the jersey.
That being said, while this is a World Cup-inspired capsule, it unfortunately won’t actually make it out to Qatar, with its purpose instead being used for pre-match at pre-tournament friendlies.
“The simplistic design of the Special Collection was inspired by the symbolic culture of Japan such as Cherry Blossoms, the national flower of Japan, as well as Sakuramochi, the Japanese confectionery that shows the very best of Japanese craftmanship,” said NIGO of the design.
“It is my hope that beyond any boundaries, between players and supporters or one nation and the rest of the world, we all can unite under football and share a common joy.”
While these kits might not be gracing Qatar, Japan’s home and away jerseys are absolute bangers nonetheless. So that’s something, at least.