“What would my superpower be? Maybe I’d be able to change my shoes with the snap of my fingers, because then I’d be able to do so many things. Number one, I’d have amazing shoes on all the time. And number two, I’d be able to fight crime. You know, if there were people robbing a bank I could click and suddenly they’d be wearing wearing roller skates. You could really mess with people,” laughs Humberto Leon, one half of the driving force behind Kenzo.
Last night the designer premiered his new film, The Everything, at New York Fashion Week, marking his first time in the director’s chair. Following in the footsteps of Natasha Lyonne, Carrie Brownstein, and Spike Jonze, who have all created films for the Paris-based label, Leon’s tells the story of an unconventional family with – you guessed it! – a series of unique superpowers at their fingertips.
The Everything follows the family as its youngest members – Rose, Bobby, and Georgie, played by Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Sasha Frolova respectively – prepare to go to their high school prom. The kids deal with all the typical teenage troubles: unrequited crushes, self-doubt, and, obviously, working out exactly what they’re going to wear (Kenzo AW18, perhaps?), while also trying to come to terms with their unique ‘talents’. At the heart of it all is the iconic Milla Jovovich, who plays the group’s ‘mum’.
“They’re all special in their own way, but Milla’s character unites them all,” explains Leon, who not only directed the film, but wrote it too. “All of the kids’ personalities are very different. You have Rose who’s super outgoing and really loud, Georgie who’s very tender and sweet, and Bobby, who’s kind of awkward and shy, but has Georgie to look out for him, they have a really tight bond. And apart, they’re all great – but together, under Milla, they’re everything. Which is where the name came from.”
When it came to creating the film, Leon found there was strength in numbers, too. “I was totally intimidated, I can’t lie!” he says of getting behind the camera for the first time. “I came into it very humble and keen to learn, but it was a really fun experience. I was also lucky because I had all these amazing people I could turn to for help: Natasha (Lyonne) and Spike (Jonze), who gave me tips about how to do this, and what I should do with that. I was in good hands with them, and the cast too. They played a big role in shaping the film, with each person giving their own view on how each character should be played. It was great to see them all come to life before my eyes.”