PARIS — The American duo behind the Opening Ceremony concept stores are replacing Italian designer Antonio Marras as creative directors of Kenzo, the Paris-based fashion house’s parent company LVMH said in a statement Tuesday.
The appointment of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim takes effect immediately, ending Marras’ eight-year-long tenure at the label, which has struggled in recent years to replace earlier successes under now-retired founder Kenzo Takada.
The New York-based pair founded Opening Ceremony, a multi-brand chain with stores in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, in 2002. The chain carries such established labels as Jean Paul Gaultier as well as a host of edgier and emerging brands like Jeremy Scott and Hakaan.
Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman of LVMH’s fashion division, expressed hope the duo would “bring their fresh creative talent and innovative approach to Kenzo to rejuvenate this iconic brand.
“I am confident that they will leverage the unique contemporary … spirit of the brand to position it ideally for an ambitious development,” he is quoted as saying in the statement.
The pair will be based between Paris and New York, the statement said.
Founded in 1970 by Japanese-born designer Takada, the label is known for its use of bright, bold prints and its best-selling perfumes, including Flower by Kenzo
Marras, a native of Sardinia who has his own signature label, has continued in the same bright, globe-trotting vein, delivering colour-drenched men’s and women’s collections to a generally positive critical response.
Under his tenure, the label’s high-drama runway shows were always among the most highly anticipated displays of Paris fashion week.
In the statement, LVMH thanked 50-year-old Marras for his collaboration and wished “him all success in his endeavours,” without providing any details.
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is a Paris-based luxury conglomerate with high fashion brands including Celine, Givenchy, Fendi, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs, as well as jewelry and spirits divisions.