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Kenzo

For saving a 40-year-old brand by hiring two American retailers as designers. Just last year, it was rumored that parent-company LVMH was looking to sell ready-to-wear label Kenzo, which had not been profitable in years. Instead, however, LVMH shocked the industry by firing creative director Antonio Marras–whose designs had recently been called drab and uninspired–and replacing him with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, the duo behind American retailer Opening Ceremony. Though Lim and Leon’s design work at Opening Ceremony is beloved by shoppers and critics alike, many questioned whether or not they could successfully revamp the struggling house. But when their first season’s designs hit the Paris runway in October, the collection was met with rave reviews and instantly attracted the attention of young fashions fans, many of whom were previously unaware of Kenzo’s existence. With a fresh look and a more competitive price point, the made-over Kenzo is expected to be one of Spring 2012’s top sellers.FCS