In October, 2018, Felipe Oliveira Baptista stepped down as Creative Director of Lacoste to make way for Louise Trotter, the first female in its history to take on the position. Following her runway debut for Fall/Winter 2019 in March, just months later and Baptista has found his feet at fellow French fashion house, Kenzo.
First established by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada in 1970, the now LVMH-owned brand was led by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon for the past eight years before the creative duo departed the house to focus on wildly successful luxury retailer, Opening Ceremony. The decision to appoint the Portuguese-born, Paris-based designer is a strategic one as the 44-year-old assisted in the booming growth of Lacoste, particularly in 2016 when the company surpassed €2 billion in revenue.
As the for the artistic direction of the brand, both Lacoste and Kenzo share a refined knack for elevated basics, but the Japanese-inspired twist the designer will apply won’t be seen until his debut collection. Men’s and womenswear is expected to show at Paris Fashion Week in February 2020 for FW/20.
Sylvie Colin, CEO of Kenzo, told WWD, “What made us choose Felipe above other candidates is the fact that he has a global artistic approach… He has a 360-degree creative vision and will oversee artistic direction globally, dealing both with collections and communication.”
She added, “Felipe’s style is very compatible with our DNA… It’s about a certain daily sophistication, silhouettes that are both chic and sporty, which is pretty much the essence of KENZO.”
He will take up the position from Monday.