With signs of enthusiasm for established brands waning in China, less recognized independent brands believe it may be their time.
At least, dynamic duo of retailer Opening Ceremony and current Kenzo creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim think so.
“The Internet has made the world smaller, and while previously the storytelling was dominated by these big luxury brands, people here now see what people are wearing in New York or L.A., and these people are not afraid to make [independent] choices now. That’s why it’s so exciting to be here. We can be a part of this brand with so much history, and now we see [a new generation] wearing the brand,” Lim told WWD.
Lim and Leon see this as Kenzo’s time to shine in China. The Chinese market is maturing and a growing number of Chinese consumers are expanding their “brand repertoire beyond their long-beloved established brands.”
“I think that it’s super exciting for Kenzo to be re-embraced by Asia — China, Japan and Korea. For us [Kenzo Takada] is really one of those designers, one of the first Asians to break into the Parisian fashion scene, and it’s exciting for us to tell the story for him now through this generation and have it told through our eyes,” Leon said.
Kenzo has already seen young Chinese consumers embrace its flamboyant prints. “Whereas I think certain things take time to make it here, we have had an immediate response from people who want to be part of the community, they want to be part of the brand and the prints,” Lim explained.
Last Friday, Kenzo opened its newest store in Shanghai at L’Avenue, the newly opened mall in the Changning district. This is Kenzo’s seventh point of sale in Shanghai.
The store aims for an all-immersive brand experience that showcases technology merging with the brand’s continued ethos of revitalization.