PARIS — Leonard has tapped hot young Paris designer Maxime Simoens as its new creative director, WWD has learned.

This story first appeared in the October 21, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Simoens, 26, is to take over from Véronique Leroy, whose contract ends this month after eight years at the house. Leroy presented her swan song collection for Leonard on Oct. 3, shortly before the two parties revealed that they were parting ways.

On the new appointment, Leonard’s president Daniel Tribouillard, who founded the house in 1958, stated: “I greatly admire Maxime’s talent. His youth and creative impulse will be a major asset for the development of this family-owned company that has enjoyed a global presence for over 50 years.”

Simoens, who joined the Paris couture schedule in January for his signature ready-to-wear line, is to present his first collection for Leonard in March.

Celebrity fans of the designer’s own label include Mélanie Laurent, Rachel McAdams and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey.