Article Oct 29, 2016

You are no longer passing

Kenzo designers cite mutual respect as key to success

Kenzo’s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon credit their mutual respect as being the key to their success.

The two are creative directors and head designers for the French luxury brand, which was founded in 1970 by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada.

Since boarding the company in 2011, Lim and Leon have shaken up the Paris-based label, with their iconic tiger sweatshirt and clothing snapped up by style conscious celebrities such as Beyonce, Selena Gomez and Rihanna.

When it comes to their continuing popularity, Leon notes that his partnership with Lim is founded on trust.

“We each have clearly defined roles,” he told “We have our own thing that we do better, and I think through our 15-year working relationship we've started to learn from each other the parts that we're probably less good at. And we trust each other, first and foremost.”

The duo also founded their brand Opening Ceremony in 2002, with Lim noting that managing two brands means that good communication is a priority.

Though she knows she can always rely on Leon to make wise choices, and vice versa.

“I know the questions that he would ask and he knows what I would ask, which means we can split up and divide and conquer,” she explained.

Lim and Leon’s latest project, a collaboration with Swedish high street retailer H&M, was unveiled in New York on Wednesday night (19Oct16). With models dancing down the runway in bold and brightly colored ensembles, the collection was met with applause and critical acclaim.

And Leon and Lim are pleased with how the line was received.

“(The show) was a fun, vibrant and unexpected celebratory mix of different worlds coming together. It was a show we will never forget,” they said.