Bernard Arnault is making major changes at Kenzo. Announced today, Antonio Marras has been let go, with Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony taking over as creative directors of the Paris house founded by Takada Kenzo in the late 1960s. You may be scratching your head at the news, wondering why Arnault would choose two retail heavyweights with no formal design training to helm a label earning upwards of $1 billion a year, including lucrative perfume licenses. After all, Marras has been an LVMH stalwart for seven years, and although he was never able to give the brand much of a presence in the American market, he was quite the hit in all-important China and Russia. So it has to be asked: Could Marras be a contender for the Dior position?
While rumors swirl, we can only hope for great things from Leon and Lim. The two have made major leaps and bounds in New York since opening their Howard Street store in 2002, expanding to Los Angeles and Tokyo. They’ve also built a following for their in-house Opening Ceremony line, along with a few choice collaborations with the likes of Rodarte and Maison Martin Margiela. Certainly they have a lot of energy.