>> Not even the far-off prospect of chilly weather can stifle Opening Ceremony's sense of whimsy. For their Fall 2012 collection, Humberto Leon and Carol Kim served up even more of the quirky, feminine pieces that have become their calling card. The use of metallics is back, with copper paillettes echoing the sparkle of the super-shiny silver pieces the brand used in its Spring 2012 collection. They're paired with lots of textures, like knitwear pieces that range from nubbly to open weave, fur, leather, and tweed. But perhaps most interesting of all is a quilted Winter coat, which is sure to keep whoever wears it warm by the time Fall's first cold fronts come around.
>> Fresh off dressing Chloe Moretz in head-to-toe Kenzo over the weekend, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have unveiled their Spring 2012 Opening Ceremony collection, inspired by the major music festivals of the world, from England to the US to Argentina. Shot by Tim Barber and styled by Sara Moonves, Daiane Sondré, Hyoni Kang, and Camille Rowe model metallic anoraks, cat-faced dresses, and lug-soled suede sandals. The collection hits stores starting in February 2012.
>> Yesterday, Opening Ceremony's Humberto Leon and Carol Lim welcomed editors and buyers to view their first, contemporary-slanted Kenzo collection — for Spring 2012 — at company headquarters. Giant, brightly-colored block K, E, N, Z, and O letters were lying about, a remix of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was playing on the loudspeaker, and their friend Chloe Sevigny closed the parade of models in a blue jumpsuit.
“We kind of put our feelers out that we were available to do something,” Leon said of how they got the job — they were two of 30 candidates interviewed. “We wanted to do a big project that felt ——” “—— creative and exciting,” said Lim, finishing his sentence.
And it seems that they succeeded, according to Style.com: "Reactions at the presentation and afterward leaned toward raves." Added WWD: "The knowingly hip outfits probably missed the duo’s ambition of designing for 'all different types of bodies and ages,' as Leon said, but they delivered enough of a jolt to successfully reposition Kenzo as a more accessible contemporary label." Most of all, sounds like Lim and Leon will be sticking around a while — LVMH executive Pierre-Yves Roussel, who interviewed all 30 Kenzo candidates, noted of the collection: "It was exactly what we wanted."
>> 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.
>> In recent years, Hakaan, Giles Deacon, and Gareth Pugh have all been awarded the ANDAM Prize — the largest international fashion prize of its kind — and as a result moved their fashion shows to Paris. Who will be next? The 2011 nominees have just been announced, and include Adam Kimmel, Anthony Vaccarello, Commuun, Jeremy Laing, Matthew Harding, and Yiqing Yin. The 22 jury members — which this year include Pierre Berge, Delfine Arnault, Emmanuelle Alt, Humberto Leon, Sarah Lerfel, and Hilary Alexander, will meet on June 28 to select the 2011 prize winner, who will receive 200,000 euros (approx. $282,000); a donation of 10,000 euros ($14,100) worth of Swarovski crystals for their Spring 2012 collection; and mentorship by former Chloe CEO Ralph Toledano for two seasons on creative and commercial development. [Filep Motwary]
>> The ANDAM prize of €220,000 (approx. $279,000) has in the past two years enabled winners Gareth Pugh and Giles Deacon to move their runway shows to Paris Fashion Week and raise their international visibility. Who will be next?
This morning, the ANDAM jury, presided over this year by Carine Roitfeld and including Alber Elbaz, Hilary Alexander, Colette's Sarah Lerfel, Jefferson Hack, and Opening Ceremony's Humberto Leon, named six nominees for the 2010 prize. Among them are: Mark Fast, known for casting "plus-size" models in his body-conscious knit dresses; couturier and Thierry Mugler alum Alexandre Vauthier; Turkish designer Hakaan Tildirim, whose last show attracted Kate Moss and Roitfeld in the audience and Lara Stone and Natalia Vodianova on the runway; Francesco Scognamiglio, whose oversized Fall 2010 fish belt was worn by Anna Dello Russo straight off the runway; Balenciaga and Christian Lacroix alum Bouchra Jarrar; and Calla Haynes, who worked with Olivier Theyskens for five years at Rochas and Nina Ricci.
The 2010 winner will be announced at the end of next month.
>> Rodarte Sticking to Solely Womenswear For Now —Despite all the hubbub about the four cobwebbed men's sweaters Laura and Kate Mulleavy made for Opening Ceremony which OC co-founder Humberto Leon says have been "selling fast," don't expect an expanded offering anytime soon. A Rodarte spokesman confirms: “There are no plans for any other Rodarte men’s wear items at this time.” [WWD]