Kenzo has announced that former Lacoste creative director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, will take the helm at the LVMH fashion house.
The news comes a week after design duo Carol Lim and Humberto Leon presented their final collection as co-creative directors.
Baptista, 44, first ventured into the fashion industry after graduating from Kingston University in London, landing his first job at Max Mara in Italy.
In 1998, the designer collaborated with Cerruti and Christophe Lemaire before kick-starting his eponymous label with partner Séverine Oliveira Baptista in 2003.
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Just over a decade later, the Portuguese designer joined Lacoste – presenting his first line in 2011. In order to focus his efforts on the sportswear brand, Baptista closed his namesake label two years later.
Under his watchful eye, Lacoste surpassed €2 billion in revenue (approximately £1.8 billion).
“He had redefined the image of Lacoste into a more designer brand,” Serge Carreira, lecturer in luxury management at Sciences Po Paris, told Business of Fashion.
With an impressive number of heavyweight accolades on his CV, from the Grand Prix of the Hyères International Festival to the ANDAM fashion prize, Baptista’s Kenzo debut is certainly one to look forward to.
“His innovative and modern creative vision and well-rounded artistic approach will enable Kenzo to reach its full potential while respecting its unique heritage,” Kenzo CEO, Sylvie Colin, said amid the news.
Baptisa will unveil his debut Kenzo line in Paris next February while Leon and Lim are said to be leaving the fashion house in order to focus on Opening Ceremony, a US label the duo founded in 2002.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.
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