MOD R ETRO
You guys always have your finger on the pulse of what’s new and surprising in fashion. How do you approach the creative parts of your job? HUMBERTO LEON: We always try to tell a story through what we do, and to approach everything both as the viewer and as the consumer. Culture is a big part of what we do, and we always refer back to it. We’re inspired by all kinds of things – food, art, film, movies, TV – all the stuff we love, whether it’s an older movie like Coming To America or a new show like Transparent. We like to explore. CAROL LIM: I think for us it always starts from a personal place. Now that we each have our own families, our kids have become part of the landscape, too, down to functional things like, “Oh, my gosh, this doesn’t exist. We should try to make this.” It’s fun because you discover things that you wouldn’t really look at if you didn’t have kids. It kind of opened up a whole world for us. The Autumn collection for Opening Ceremony was inspired by the director Spike Jonze. What was it like collaborating with him? HL: It was probably one of the most personal endeavours we’d ever worked on. We were allowed to go into Spike’s photo archives and sort through his images. We’d already seen some of them because they were published in magazines or he shared them with us, but this was a really in-depth look at 20 years of someone’s life. Much of it was from the ’90s, so it was kind of hard to escape, but it was more the attitude of that decade that we were after in our collection than the clothes of the time. CL: We grew up during that period; there was this ease and laid-back approach we really liked seeing. I think that was the starting point for us. How do we capture that? We love that feeling. Your show for Kenzo this season was filled with colourful prints, interesting shapes, as well as dancing holographic trees. Where did all that come from? CL: I think it was this idea of community – about a group of women, their relationship and how they live. That idea was really present with Kenzo Takada. When you look at our presentation, with the prints and techniques, and even the setting and choreography of what we imagined with the abstract trees that were moving, these were the things that led to the creation of it. How would you say designing for Kenzo is similar to or different from designing for Opening Ceremony? HL: Well, Kenzo himself had a store when he first started, so he was a retailer to begin with, just like we are. But the main difference is that Opening Ceremony represents us, and with Kenzo we’ve brought some things to the brand that weren’t there before. We’ve brought a digital platform and a different idea of community, and a lot of that comes from what we’ve developed at Opening Ceremony. Designers you’re excited about? HL: Marques’Almeida is great, as is Craig Green, and there’s this denim line out of LA called 69 that’s amazing. You both hung out a lot at malls as kids. Where did you shop? And how does the mall scene then compare with today? HL: Back then I liked Contempo Casuals, Oak Tree, Esprit, and Journeys to an extent. CL: Benetton, Miller’s Outpost. HL: I feel like a lot of mall stores now have gotten more generic and less specialised. There were ones then that were all about cargo or the outdoors – they used to really own their identities. As told to Priya Rao.
Kenzo Autumn/ Winter ’15 Kenzo Autumn/ Winter ’15 Opening Ceremony Autumn/ Winter ’15
Humberto Leon and Carol Lim