Designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon part ways with French fashion label Kenzo

Kenzo's fashion designers Humberto Leon (left) and Carol Lim during a fashion show in Paris on January 20, 2019. They announced their decision to leave the fashion house on Twitter on June 14, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, who want to take off from their own runway, are quitting French fashion label Kenzo.

The two Asian-Americans have led the brand founded by Japanese-born creator Kenzo Takada for the last eight years.

The duo, whom the brand said had "revitalised it with a series of bold creative ideas that have reverberated throughout the fashion industry", are leaving to concentrate on American retailer Opening Ceremony, which they set up in 2002.

Korean-American Lim, 44, and Leon, 44, whose mother was Chinese seamstress, will stage their final show for Kenzo during Paris men's fashion week on Sunday (June 23).

The pair - who met at the University of California, Berkeley and have worked together since - are credited with broadening the appeal of the luxury label, known for its perfumes and striking streetwear prints.

They worked with indie film legends David Lynch and Spike Jonze as well as maverick Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, best known for his sculpture of Pope John Paul II hit by a meteorite.

Kenzo chief executive Sylvie Colin said Lim and Leon "consistently brought diversity and inclusion to the forefront at Kenzo, using their collections, fashion shows, advertising and special projects to engage and galvanise a new generation of creatives".

Kenzo's owner, French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, said "a new creative step for Kenzo will be announced at a later stage".

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