MILAN — Kenzo’s renovated store on Milan’s Via Manzoni is the first to be designed by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, the brand’s co-creative directors.
The 2,650-square-foot, two-level unit showcases the label’s men’s and women’s collections, accessories, leather goods and shoes. At the entrance stands a sculpture of a white hand, a white plate and light green spaghetti-like strands — a symbol of Italy and its culture of food.
“Each of the new boutiques in the world will have a distinctive element created to enhance the local spirit,” Leon during a walkthrough of the store. “We wanted to celebrate the city,” added Lim.
The marble throughout the store is evocative of the country, contrasting with hammered chrome shelving, mirrored or white walls and a concrete floor. Modern touches include videos flashing near the staircase in lapis lazuli. Neon lights accentuate the geometry of the space, while seating is done up in leather and Mongolian sheep hair.
Leon said he and Lim wanted the store to have a luxury feel, “but less serious, more fun, the way we do clothes.”
Lim was pleased with the location, a few steps away from the Grand Hotel et de Milan and the Armani megastore and hotel. “It’s a busy street, there is lots of energy in the area,” she said. “Italy is the number one market for our wholesale business. It’s very important, and there are a lot of opportunities.”
The store has been expanded on the second floor, with a men’s dressy atelier, for a more private view of the collection.
Lim said the line has grown with accessories and “a proper shoe business,” which has required the expansion of this unit and boutiques to follow. The shoes are positioned at the entrance, with a dedicated space on the left of the door. “The business has changed drastically,” said Leon.
London’s boutique will be remodeled within the year, said Leon. The brand has more than 100 stores globally.
Lim and Leon were tapped by Kenzo in 2011. The Paris-based designer brand was founded in 1970 and is now owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.