Kid Cudi and Kenzo’s Nigo Team Up for a Supercool, Caped Met Gala 2022 Look

Old friends Kid Cudi and Nigo have long been two creative peas in a pod, so it made perfect sense for the rapper and actor to be the face of the Japanese designer’s first big red carpet moment since he became the new artistic director for Kenzo, the French luxury house founded by Kenzo Takada in 1970. “Nigo is family to me—he’s like big bro,” Cudi tells Vogue of their collaboration and friendship. Nigo, who showed his very first collection for Kenzo just this January, suggested that Cudi wear a version of a 1984s black tuxedo with a cape from the brand’s extensive archive for the Met Gala. It was Cudi who had the idea to remix it in electric blue, all finished with flowers lining the inside of the cape. “I really loved it. I wanted to make it a little more ‘me’ and add some color and make it brighter,” he says. “It was my idea to do blue. We were thinking about red, but I chose blue. I just feel like it represents where I’m at right now. I’m in this cool happy place—I wanted something that represented the vibes.”

The drama of the cape came naturally to Cudi. “I’ve never worn a cape before but capes are something that I’m into,” he says. “I just feel so powerful in one. When I was doing the fitting in this outfit, I was feeling so royal, so regal. You just put the cape on and you’re somebody else. It’s a whole other feeling. Same thing when I’m wearing a dress.” By dress, he’s referring to the full-length Off-White floral gown he wore to perform on Saturday Night Live in 2021, a now-epochal testament to his fearlessness when it comes to clothes. “There was a moment before I wore the dress on SNL when I was like, ‘Wow, I’m doing this, there’s no turning back.’ I put the dress on, looked in the mirror, felt good about it and went out there and did my performance,” he says. “Ever since, I’ve been feeling so confident. Live television, millions of people watching—it doesn’t get scarier than that. But I just went ahead and did it on the highest platform. I felt like a complete badass.”

Nigo and Cudi’s relationship goes back to the days when Cudi was just a “kid from Cleveland out in NYC” and worked as a retail employee at the New York outpost of A Bathing Ape, Nigo’s first and tremendously influential streetwear brand. “We have a beautiful Cinderella story,” says Cudi. “Before I was Kid Cudi, his brand literally put food on my table when I had the job there.” Years laters, now fully blossomed into polymathic creatives, their bond is extensive and multifaceted. Cudi even featured prominently on a recent album I Know Nigo! that Nigo produced alongside Pharrell Williams. “I’m always in awe when I’m around him, in his office and atelier. I’ve never seen anybody that has a world designed quite like Nigo’s,” he says. Best of all, theirs is a friendship built on real creative partnership, an artistic sympatico epitomized by this shocking blue suit. “It really felt like a true collaboration, with Kenzo and my flavor in there,” he says of his Met Gala look. “Nigo pays respect to the classics but he does it with a new flair. This suit, it’s so clean and cut just right and the details are just so beautiful. I’m excited for people to see.”

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