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Opening Ceremony founders to design for Kenzo

Luxury brand Kenzo has appointed Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, co-owners of New York cult retailer Opening Ceremony, as creative directors, with Kenzo owner LVMH planning to reposition the brand.

It has been reported that the first collection from the pair will be the brand’s spring 12 collection and as part of their remit they will be rejuvenating the brand’s product offering and store environment. The pair will succeed Italian designer Antonio Marras who had been creative director since 2004.

Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and chief executive of LVMH’s fashion division, which includes Céline, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Loewe and Emilio Pucci said: “What we need now is something which has more energy, which is looking forward in terms of addressing a new generation.” Roussel added he was struck by the pair’s “360 degree vision of the fashion industry”.

Roussel plans to increase Kenzo’s top-line growth in markets such as China, and to re-enter the US market, from which Kenzo withdrew in 2003.

Leon and Lim will continue to head up the US chain they founded in 2002. Opening Ceremony has two stores in New York, one in Los Angeles, one in Tokyo and an online store. There are also Opening Ceremony shops in Lane Crawford department stores in Beijing and Hong Kong, and the company wholesales its private-label collection to about 300 doors.

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