Designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista who brought a sophisticated and artistic touch to Kenzo over a two-year stint is to step down from his role of artistic director, and his exit from the Paris-based fashion house, will take effect on June 30 when his employment contract will arrive at its term.
Sylvie Colin, chief executive officer of Kenzo, expressed her gratitude to the designer “for his talent, creativity and contribution to the artistic development of our house.”
It is understood a successor will be named in due course, and that the brand is likely to pursue a new direction.
Oliveira Baptista was partial to enveloping, nomadic silhouettes, and had returned the brand to the women’s calendar of Paris Fashion Week. His tenure coincided with the death last October of founder Kenzo Takada, due to complications from COVID-19, and he let color, pattern and energy erupt on the runway for fall 2021 as an ode to the Japanese fashion maverick.
Oliveira Baptista was previously the creative director of Lacoste from 2010 to 2018, and he succeeded designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, who left Kenzo after eight years at the house to focus on their U.S.-based business, Opening Ceremony.
Known for his artfully constructed and experimental creations, Oliveira Baptista hails from Portugal and created his namesake label in 2003 with his partner Séverine Oliveira Baptista, a year after winning the main fashion prize at the Festival d’Hyères.