You might want to grab your sunglasses if you plan to venture over to Leonard’s gilded headquarters to view the spring collection — the brightly colored prints are a stark contrast to the dark, dripping streets of Paris and it can take a moment for the eye to adjust to the blast of varied motifs and styles.
The label propped up a surfboard in its Paris showroom as part of the lineup, which hinged on a tropical theme with prints featuring hibiscus flowers, palm fronds and flamingos.
Christine Phung had turned to Hawaii for the final leg of her design term at the French luxury label. Floral prints were bright while silhouettes included neoprene-inspired designs, variations on the classic Hawaiian shirt, silky jumpsuits with bare backs and surfer trunks. “The brand is a bit retro, so the challenge is to find its contemporary side,” remarked Phung.
Leonard president Nathalie Tribouillard-Chassaing was on hand to explain how the family-owned label sees its future, flagging intentions to bring in younger and digitally-savvy talent. The collection was presented as a film, featuring star surfer Nina Reynal riding waves in Biarritz — marking an important dip into digital for the brand.
As for the house’s creative direction, a new stylist will steer the winter collection — already chosen, though she declined to give the name.
“The artistic director is our house,” said Tribouillard-Chassaing, explaining that the strategy is to invite a new stylist every three or four years.