Two years may not be a long time for an artistic director to cement a long-term vision at a fashion house, but in that timespan, Felipe Oliveira Baptista managed to lay a new foundation at Kenzo.
So when news broke on April 26 that the Portugal-born designer and the LVMH-backed brand will be parting ways on June 30 after a two-year run that was overshadowed by the pandemic, it may come as a surprise even for seasoned industry watchers who have grown accustomed to the proverbial designer revolving door.
In 2019, Felipe Oliveira Baptista took over creative reins of Kenzo.
In a statement, Baptista, a Max Mara and Christophe Lemaire alumnus said: “I have been honoured to serve this amazing house and the legacy of its founder Kenzo Takada. I would like to thank my teams for their talent and dedication.”
While the official word as to what’s next at the brand has yet to be announced – Baptista already showcased his Fall/Winter 2021 collection in late March – we take take a quick look at how Kenzo had transformed under the man in the past two years.