Meet the 2 designers transforming LVMH’s hippest brand
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Meet the 2 designers transforming LVMH’s hippest brand

Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are the designers behind Kenzo – a formerly little known Parisian fashion label owned by LVMH that has become a popular phenomenon. And that transformation is, in no small part, down to the designers’ innovative approach to fashion. Neither one of them is a trained designer – instead, they taught themselves the business. Lim says: “we were both really avid reader s of magazines. As we listened to our favourite bands, we would see what they were wearing, where they would go eat.” This “grass roots” approach to style proved to be a turn on to young minds bored of traditional looks.

LVMH’s share price has appreciated by 37% so far this year

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Lim and Leon met at university, and have been professional partners ever since. Their first project was undertaken in 2002, and in 2011, LVMH hired the pair to lead Kenzo. At the time, the brand was known only to fashion insiders, and specialized in elegant pieces that used fine fabric and mixed print. They soon changed the brand’s direction, leading to concerns from its parent company, but the results they got allayed any fears. Six years later, the average Kenzo customer has fallen in age from 50 to 30, and the brand is adding 22 stores this year.

They see their success as being led by design – an area in which they remain absolutely in control. Leon says: “We explore ideas by drawing and draping, and I work with my design team to push silhouettes, shapes, and lines. It’s a lengthy process that goes from start to finish.”

For Lim, it’s all about the innovation: “We feel that you can have an expressive fashion show and find a piece that you can wear to a barbecue or to a family reunion. It’s just the way we think. We’re constantly looking to see how we can differentiate ourselves in a way that will surprise and delight and resonate and stay with you.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds LVMH in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.


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