Humberto Leon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Humberto Leon
Born (1975-06-07) June 7, 1975 (age 43)[1]
NationalityAmerican
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
Label(s)
Kenzo; Opening Ceremony

Humberto Leon (born June 7, 1975) is an American fashion designer, retailer and creative director, working in partnership with Carol Lim.[2]

Leon and Lim founded the fashion retailer Opening Ceremony in 2002 in downtown Manhattan. Further stores followed in New York City, 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 and education[edit]

Born to a Peruvian father and Chinese seamstress mother, Humberto Leon grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles as the youngest in a tight-knit family.[7]

In 1993, during his sophomore year, Leon met Carol Lim at University of California, Berkeley through a mutual friend.[8] He studied psychology and art.[9]

Early career[edit]

Upon graduation, Leon worked in the corporate sphere for a decade, serving as design director at American clothing retailer Gap then Burberry, during the start of its renaissance under Rose Marie Bravo.[10]

Career[edit]

In early 2001, at age 25, Lim and Leon went on a two-week trip to Hong Kong. There, they were inspired to open a store in the United States upon their return. Its concept was to bring brands such as Havaianas and Topshop to the United States and to feature emerging American fashion brands such as Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, and Rodarte. After considering various names (including Airport and Terminal), the two founders finally settled upon Opening Ceremony.[11][12] Leon and Lim 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.[13]

Opening Ceremony features a rotating assortment of brands sourced from domestic and international designers, and is known for its collaborations with brands and people such as Pendleton, Levi's, Timberland, Keds, Robert Clergerie, Chloë Sevigny and Spike Jonze. The stores also feature Opening Ceremony's eponymous brand.[14]

In July 2011, Kenzo parent company LVMH announced the appointment of Humberto Leon as co-creative director of the brand.[15] Leon and Lim's debut collection was in 2012.[16] The first collection was inspired by upstate New York and the painter Ellsworth Kelly.[17] Lim and Leon are credited with reinventing the label—which had been in steady decline since Kenzo Takada's departure in 1999—by injecting a youthful exuberance and sensibility into its clothing. Their modern approach to design and communications has paved the way for the brand's revival in recent years.[18]

Along with Lim, Leon is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and an advisor to Parsons School of Design. In 2010, Leon and Lim won the President's Award for Excellence in Retail Innovation from The Academy of Art in San Francisco. In 2016, Leon and Lim won the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Fashion Design.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Leon has twin daughters named Emi Leon-Wilson and Mazzarine Leon-Wilson with his partner, writer and musician Patrick Wilson.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Happy Birthday, Humberto". openingceremony.us. Opening Ceremony. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  2. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/10/fashion/humberto-leon-and-carol-lim-of-opening-ceremony-on-their-challenge-at-kenzo.html?_r=0. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Humberto Leon and Carol Lim". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  4. ^ "Opening Ceremony". Time Out London. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  5. ^ "Opening Ceremony Opening London Store". www.huhmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  6. ^ Elliott, Hannah. "Opening Ceremony Duo To Kenzo". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  7. ^ "Downtown for Sale". NYMag.com. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  8. ^ "Downtown for Sale". NYMag.com. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  9. ^ Rubin, Julia. "Opening Ceremony's Founders On How They Built A Fashion Empire". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  10. ^ "Carol Lim & Humberto Leon | #BoF500 | The Business of Fashion". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  11. ^ "FASHION'S COOLEST DUO HUMBERTO LEON AND CAROL LIM DON'T THINK THEY'RE VERY COOL AT ALL, ACTUALLY".
  12. ^ "The Success of Opening Ceremony's Carol Lim and Humberto Leon". ELLE. 2010-08-18. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  13. ^ Rubin, Julia. "Opening Ceremony's Founders On How They Built A Fashion Empire". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  14. ^ "The Success of Opening Ceremony's Carol Lim and Humberto Leon". ELLE. 2010-08-18. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  15. ^ Elliott, Hannah. "Opening Ceremony Duo To Kenzo". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  16. ^ Mistry, Meenal. "Kenzo Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show - Vogue". Vogue. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  17. ^ "Humberto Leon and Carol Lim". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  18. ^ "#BoFLive | Carol and Humberto Say 'Everything Came From a Personal Point of View'". The Business of Fashion. 2014-02-11. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  19. ^ Ellis, Kristi (2016-05-05). "Opening Ceremony Wins National Design Award for Fashion Design". WWD. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  20. ^ "FATHER'S DAY: A PERSONAL ESSAY FROM HUMBERTO LEON".