>> Kenzo has released a teaser video, previewing the direction new creative directors, Opening Ceremony's Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, will be taking the label for their debut collection on Sunday. The new, contemporary-leaning Kenzo looks to be colorful and print-heavy, based on this video directed by illustrator Jo Ratcliffe.
>> New Kenzo creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are already dropping hints on their vision for the label, which will become more clear when their first collection — for Spring 2012 — debuts during Paris Fashion Week.
“Kenzo was always about color and pattern and having fun — that’s why we are so happy to start with a Spring/Summer collection,” says Leon, adding that he and Lim are not as attracted to the hippie side of Kenzo as to the inspiration the label's founder, Kenzo Takada, derived in street culture. The goal in reviving the brand, Leon says, is "to tell a story and to capture in our designs the Kenzo of 2012.” Lim adds that their Kenzo is for “sexiness, powerful women and those not afraid to wear color.”
The designers' Asian heritage — Leon is part Chinese, Lim is Korean, Takada is Japanese — will also come into play, Leon says: “We are very Asian. It is definitely in our blood.” And they're also hoping to intrigue more than just the younger generation with their designs: ‘’We want people to feel that Kenzo is a warm and exciting branded family store."
>> LVMH has appointed Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, the 36-year-old co-founders of Opening Ceremony, as creative directors of Kenzo, effective immediately. They replace Antonio Marras, who joined Kenzo in 2004, and will show their first Kenzo collection in October for Spring 2012.
Under Leon and Lim, Kenzo is to be repositioned in the contemporary sector, with prices expected to range from 200 euros to 1,500 euros ($285 to $2,135).
"It’s great to bring this young, contemporary generation into Kenzo,” said Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and CEO of LVMH’s fashion division. “They’re really embracing what was the origin of Kenzo — that Jungle spirit.” Roussel interviewed a wide range of both young and experienced designers for the position, he said, but was struck by the “360-degree vision of the fashion industry” Leon and Lim have. He added that Marras had been “respectful of the heritage of the brand . . . What we need now is something which has more energy, which is looking forward in terms of addressing a new generation.”
While the pair are not trained as designers, they expect to “build an exciting team” of designers to realize their vision for Kenzo. Leon said that while he sketches ideas, “we’ve always worked in a team community.”
They plan to continue with Opening Ceremony, and split their time between Paris and New York.