This week, LVMH announced that the founders of Opening Ceremony, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, will be the new creative directors at the quiet and aging brand, Kenzo.  Like many of the brands in the LVMH stable, Kenzo was wildly popular at one time (the 70s) but has slowly lost its edge and fallen from the forefront of fashion.  Kenzo is a winner because it seems its turn to get the LVMH makeover treatment has come.  If I put on my happy ears, this is a great thing.  Once great fashion brands are revitalized and younger, start up designers get a chance to have the resources of a company like LVMH support their development.

When I put on my cynical hat, I see Kenzo going the way of brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior.  Overwhelming marketing campaigns centered on celebrity designers and, worst of all, teaching the consuming that heavily-logoed accessories is code word for wealth and class.  But who knows?  I read recently that Bernard Arnault is tiring of the antics of the celebrity designer, such as the recent Galliano debacle.  Hiring highly talented but “more about the fashion than the publicity” designers like Phoebe Philo at Céline might indicate a trend in a new direction.  And Leon and Lim don’t seem to be enfants terribles, so maybe this really is a good thing… Click here to check out the most recent Kenzo collections…

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