London’s Kenzo flagship has recently undergone a major revamp. The new look of the store, which finds its home in the capital’s Bruton Street, was made-over by Humberto Leon and Carol Lim—Kenzo’s designers—and they certainly know what they want when it comes to redesigning the space.
“It’s like we moved into a new house and painted everything white,” said Lim, who came to London as the finishing touches were being put on the store. “The whole space feels totally different. It was a really good opportunity, we call it a cleanse of palette. So much of the business has changed – our accessories, our shoe business, we do watches and jewellery now, everything has grown. What’s great is we wanted to explore these ideas.” It’s now been four busy years since Lim and Leon stepped into the roles of creative directors at the brand, and they are ready to grow and expand the business, starting with a very literal spring clean of the London store. “The excitement is just starting. We have a strong business in ready-to-wear so the opportunity for small accessories, we’re dying to go deeper and deeper. We do kidswear, there are lots of opportunities to do a lot of different things,” explained Lim. The ultimate dream for the duo would be an all-encompassing Kenzo department store that can house all the different strands of the business, as well as the designers’ own ideas.
For now though, Leon and Lim are focussing on expanding in specific locales, thinking about the importance that each city has for their business. “We want to take into account each city where we open, we want to address the locality of each city and make it feel like a special moment,” says Lim. And for her, there is a very special and surprising connection that makes Britain so appealing—namely the traditional English food of fish and chips. “We’re foodies. I love fish and chips,” she admits. “London, aside from New York, is one of my favourite cities. It has a resourcefulness and an energy that reminds me of New York, people make things happen. The hustle, the energy, the optimism, the music, the food. There’s something here that’s pretty infectious and the style here is amazing – and the individuality. It’s really inspiring. People are very creative here,” she adds of her love of the capital.