Felipe Oliveira Baptista quits Kenzo
Felipe Oliveira Baptista will quit his position as creative director of Kenzo this summer, not even two years after being appointed. News of his departure also comes just three months after founder Kenzo Takada died in January, aged 81.
Felipe Oliveira Baptista will quit his position as creative director of Kenzo this summer, not even two years after being appointed.
News of his departure also comes just three months after the founder Kenzo Takada died in January, aged 81.
Oliveira Baptista will step down as artistic director of Kenzo on June 30, 2021, the Paris-based maison said in a release.
“The contract between Kenzo and Felipe Oliveira Baptista will expire at the end of June 2021, when he will step down,” the house confirmed in the statement.
Oliveira Baptista joined Kenzo in July 2019, when he succeeded Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, after the American duo’s seven-year stint at the house.
Kenzo is one of a dozen fashion brands within the giant French luxury conglomerate LVMH, which acquired the house from its founder back in 1993.
"I am very honored to have put myself at the service of this magnificent house, of the heritage of its founder Kenzo Takada, and I would like to thank my teams for their talent and their involvement,” said the departing Portuguese-born designer.
During his tenure, the popular Oliveira Baptista received generally positive reviews for his collection from French critics; less so from international reviewers.
His debut show inside a suffocating plastic tent on a hot spring day in a Paris garden was panned for its grandiose theme. While his most recent show video for the brand, unveiled in late March, was a colorful homage to the founder, which felt like a collab collection with Kenzo Takada’s archives.
A highly experienced designer, Oliveira Baptista did stints with Max Mara, Christophe Lemaire and Cerruti early in his career, before winning the Grand Prix of the Hyères International Festival and, in 2003, the closely-watched ANDAM fashion award. However, his most acclaimed period of creation has been his eight-year tenure as designer of Lacoste, during which the brand doubled sales to two billion euros.
However, his sporty and high-concept collections clearly found few echoes with the traditional fans of the brand.
Commenting on his departure, Sylvie Colin, managing director of Kenzo said: “We are very grateful to Felipe for having contributed, thanks to his creative talent, to the artistic influence of our House."
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