Kenzo: Is Felipe Oliveira Baptista taking over as creative director?
Kenzo is turning over a new leaf. While Carol Lim and Humberto Leon staged a great show for their guests at Paris Bercy on Sunday, presenting their last collection after eight years in charge of design for the Japanese label, their successor may be announced soon.
According to FashionNetwork.com sources, Portuguese designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista is set to take over from Lim and Leon as creative director of the label owned by the LVMH group. His name has been linked to Kenzo for some time, alongside those of Marine Serre and Martine Rose.
Oliveira Baptista, 44, was the creative director of Lacoste for eight years. He left in 2018 after doubling the French sportswear label’s sales during his tenure, cleverly rejuvenating Lacoste's appeal, broadening its audience and turning it into a sought-after label, chiefly by the younger generations, thanks to a distinctive style of cool urban sportswear.
A native of the Azores islands and an architecture enthusiast, Oliveira Baptista turned to fashion after discovering the work of Balenciaga. A fashion design graduate from Kingston University, London, he started with Max Mara, then moved to Christophe Lemaire and Cerruti from 1997 to 2001.
In 2002, Oliveira Baptista won the emerging designer prize at the Hyères Fashion Festival. The following year, he won the ANDAM Prize, which he won again in 2005. It was the platform that enabled him to launch his own ready-to-wear label in 2003 with his wife Séverine, a label he closed down in 2014. Kenzo will be a new challenge for Oliveira Baptista, whose signature looks are flowing yet structured.
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