Talking Fashion With... Carol Lim And Humberto Leon Of Kenzo
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are a special breed of designers. Having gone from retailers (who founded Opening Ceremony in 2002) to the current creative director duo at Kenzo, their fashion tastes and sensibilities have proven to go beyond just curating stores.
We met the duo on a recent visit to Hong Kong to celebrate the launch of Kenzo’s new Tali bag.
Travel has always served as an inspiration and starting point in your creations. Did the idea for the Tali bag come from a certain adventure?
Humberto: The inspiration behind the Tali bag actually came from two trips. I’m originally from Peru, and we went there on a research trip where we were so inspired by the country’s vibrant energy and use of colour.
Another trip was to India in 2012, and we subsequently launched the eye motif in 2013. There’s something very spiritual about the eye.
Was there a woman when you had in mind when you created the Tali?
Carol: We thought about a lot of different people in our community when creating this bag, and we really considered the practical elements for the Tali.
We focused on the real people in our lives—everyone from our friends to our mothers—and started the design as a bigger shape. Since then, we've built an entire family [of bags] around it.
Can you tell us about the collaborations with digital artist Filip Custic and astrologist Susan Miller?
Humberto: Filip’s visual artistry is so amazing, he has a way of playing with dimensions, movement and the illustrated form. Susan Miller is a good friend of ours, and we had her curate the Tali bags according to the meaning behind their colours and materials—don't miss the exclusive colourway (yellow, shown above) for Hong Kong.
How do I pick the perfect bag for me?
We built a custom app on our website featuring the designs of Filip, which can help pick a bag for you.
Do you have any lucky charms?
Humberto: I have a jade necklace that was given to me by my mother, and I’ve worn it since birth.
Carol: I also have this necklace I wear every day. It has different charms that have been given to me by different people.
Do you believe in luck?
Carol: We believe in fate.
Humberto: Everything happens for a reason.
What do you have in your Tali bags today?
Carol: Because I’m travelling, I just have my phone and room key and cash. But usually, if I'm at home, I'll have a pack of tissues, a lip balm and a pack of markers for my kids. And definitely some gum, my wallet, phone and keys.
Humberto: I always just have keys, wallet and phone (aka. my three checkpoints). Sometimes, I’ll have gum and some SPF—it depends where I am.
What are your must-do's when in Hong Kong?
Humberto: Mak’s noodles, cheung fun, Hong Kong milk tea and pineapple buns. We come here as often as we can—we love it here.
Carol: Definitely some freshly made cheung fun. Our must-do's in Hong Kong usually revolve around food.
Follow Carol Lim and Humberto Leon on Instagram @CarolLim and @Humberto
See also: Talking Fashion With... Tommy Ton, Creative Director Of Deveaux