Creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are set to depart French fashion house Kenzo later this month.
The designers, who have worked with the label for eight years, are leaving to focus on Opening Ceremony, the brand the pair founded in 2002. The announcement was made by LVMH in Paris on Friday, with the conglomerate confirming that the design duo will present their final collection for the fashion house on 23 June during Men’s Paris Fashion Week. Leon and Lim will officially leave the company on 1 July.
“After eight incredibly special years at Kenzo, we are passing the torch of that historic brand with great pride,” the pair said in a statement. We are thankful to our wonderful Kenzo team and the LVMH group for the opportunity to take forward (founder Kenzo) Takada’s groundbreaking legacy. We are excited to bring so many rich experiences and memories from our time at Kenzo to new frontiers.”
The pair recently reacquired of all of Opening Ceremony’s shares from Berkshire Partners, which previously held a minority stake in the business. “With full control of the company we are focused on growing our company even further,” Leon and Lim added. During their time at Kenzo, the designer duo were responsible for repositioning the 50-year-old brand in the contemporary fashion landscape. As well as breathing new life into the brand’s signature tiger motif, the pair also undertook a number of collaborations with affordable brands including H&M and Vans.
Kenzo’s chief executive officer, Sylvie Colin, said Leon and Lim should be celebrated for bringing “diversity and inclusion to the forefront” at the firm. “They have always approached everything they do through the lens of customer experience and pioneered a modern vision of what it is to be a creative director,” she added. “We wish them all the best in their new adventures.”
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