Carol Lim

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Carol Lim
Born (1975-02-20) February 20, 1975 (age 44)[1][2]
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
Kenzo; Opening Ceremony

Carol Lim (born February 20, 1975) is an American fashion designer, retailer and creative director, who works in partnership with Humberto Leon.

She and Leon founded the fashion retailer Opening Ceremony in 2002 in downtown Manhattan. Further stores followed in New York, in Los Angeles and Tokyo.[3] An Opening Ceremony store opened in 2012 in London, coinciding with the Olympics.[4][5]

In 2011, Lim and Leon were announced as creative directors of the French high fashion brand Kenzo, which was founded in 1970 and is part of the LVMH luxury goods conglomerate.[6]

Early life[edit]

Carol Lim is the daughter of Korean parents. Born in Singapore and raised in the Los Angeles suburbs,[7] she met Humberto Leon at University of California, Berkeley in 1993. After graduating with a degree in economics in 1997, Lim worked in the corporate sphere, including a spell with Deloitte, before moving to New York and becoming a merchandise planner for Bally.[8][9]


At age 25, Lim and Leon went on a trip to Hong Kong, where they were inspired to open a store. Its concept was to bring brands such as Havaianas and Topshop to the United States and to feature then-emerging American fashion brands such as Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and Rodarte.[8] They went to the New York State Small Business Development Center at SUNY for assistance in refining their business plan and obtaining a business loan, and each contributed $10,000 of their own money towards Opening Ceremony.[10][11]

Opening Ceremony features a rotating assortment of brands from different designers and is known for its collaborations with brands and personalities such as Pendleton, Levi's, Timberland, Keds, Robert Clergerie, Chloë Sevigny and Spike Jonze. The stores also feature Opening Ceremony's eponymous brand.[12]

In July 2011, Kenzo parent company LVMH announced the appointment of Lim as co-creative director of the brand.[6] Leon and Lim debuted their collection in 2012:[13] It was inspired by upstate New York and the painter Ellsworth Kelly.[3]

With Leon, Lim is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and an advisor at Parsons School of Design.[10] In 2010, they won the President's Award for Excellence in Retail Innovation from The Academy of Art in San Francisco.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Lim is married to British filmmaker Matthew Killip; the couple have two daughters.[15]


  1. ^ "Happy Birthday, Carol Lim". Opening Ceremony. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Opening Ceremony's Humberto Leon and Carol Lim Named New Kenzo Creative Directors". Popsugar. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b Zarrella, Katharine. "Humberto Leon and Carol Lim". Interview Magazine. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  4. ^ "Opening Ceremony". Time Out. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  5. ^ Lowe, Jack (January 2012). "Opening Ceremony Opening London Store". Huh. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b Elliott, Hannah (July 12, 2011). "Opening Ceremony Duo to Kenzo".
  7. ^ Yuan, Jada (September 26, 2010). "Downtown for Sale". New York Magazine. New York Magazine.
  8. ^ a b Levy, Ariel (18 August 2010). "The success of Opening Ceremony". Elle. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  9. ^ Amed, Imran (11 February 2014). "Carol and Humberto Say "Everything Came From a Personal Point of View"". Business of Fashion. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  10. ^ a b Hazel Clark (May 15, 2015). PARSONS FESTIVAL: Carol Lim and Humberto Leon in Conversation with Hazel Clark.
  11. ^ Rubin, Julia. "Opening Ceremony's Founders on How They Built An Empire". Vogue, Teen Vogue. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  12. ^ Kennedy, Alicia; Stoehrer, Emily (2013). Fashion Design, referenced. Beverly, MA: Rockport Publishers. p. 272. ISBN 9781592536771.
  13. ^ Mistry, Meenal (October 2, 2011). "Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Kenzo". Conde Nast. Archived from the original on 2015-05-02.
  14. ^ Sterlacci, Francesca,. Historical dictionary of the fashion industry. Arbuckle, Joanne, 1954- (Second edition ed.). Lanham, Maryland. p. 364. ISBN 9781442239081. OCLC 969368326.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text (link)
  15. ^ Bagley, Christopher (March 19, 2015). "Humberto Leon and Carol Lim's Dual Dynasty". W Magazine. Conde Nast.

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