PARIS – American designers Carole Lim and Humberto Leon are stepping down as creative directors of Kenzo Maison after eight years at the helm of the renowned French fashion house, its parent company the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH said Friday.
Lim and Leon followed in the footsteps of Kenzo Takada, who founded the house and had become famous for including elements of his Asian heritage into European fashion.
“Humberto and Carol consistently brought diversity and inclusion to the forefront at Kenzo, using their collections, fashion shows, advertising, and special projects to engage and galvanize a new generation of creatives,” Sylvie Colin, Kenzo Chief Executive, said in a statement.
During their time at Kenzo, the duo developed a youthful and bright aesthetic using vibrant colors and unusual prints.
Their designs were often informed by traditional costumes from around the world and Lim and Humberto harnessed the original spirit of Kenzo by “keeping the offbeat spirit that lies behind Kenzo’s success” alive, LVMH said.
“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. We wish them all the best in their new adventures,” Colin added.
Takada, who launched his eponymous fashion house in 1970 in Paris, stepped down in 1999 to pursue a career as an artist having sold his firm to LVMH some six years earlier.
When Lim and Humberto took over the creative reigns of Kenzo they delved into the archives and revived old patterns such as the very popular tiger design which they printed onto t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies.
They injected the brand with a modern and fresh identity evident in their branding partnerships which saw them collaborate with movie-makers like Spike Jonze and David Lynch to create their adverts and videos of their collections.
The pair are to present their last collection with Kenzo on June 23 during Paris Fashion Week with collections for both men and women.
According to LVMH, Lim and Humberto will be returning to New York after their 8 year Paris stint to focus on their brand Opening Ceremony.
Opening Ceremony was launched in 2002 and, since it’s creation, the brand has collaborated with Rodarte, Topshop, Maison Margiela and Adidas among many others.