Flanked by Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell wearing monogramed mirror-coated trench coat and boots, Kim Jones took his final bow on Louis Vuitton’s menswear runway at the end of January. He departed after 11 years at the helm. Then, on 19th March, the brand’s owner, luxury group LVMH, confirmed that he will be staying put in Paris to succeed Kris Van Assche as Artistic Director at Dior Homme come April.
I’m deeply honoured to join the house of Dior, a symbol of the ultimate elegance,” Jones said in a statement released by the fashion house. “I am committed to create a modern and innovate male silhouette built upon a unique legacy of the house.
Dior’s CEO, Pietro Beccari, who previously worked with Jones at Vuitton before moving to Dior in February this year, followed the compliment by saying; “I admire his creative vision, which combines both his own inspirations of contemporary culture and his own reinterpretation of specific codes and heritage of the house.”
Dior’s renowned reputation is rooted in its rich history and evolving legacy. The couturier’s impact on fashion started from its beginnings in Paris when he debuted his very first collection in 1955. Although he licenced menswear in 1954, it was Marc Bohan, who established Christian Dior Monsieur in 1970. Fast-forward to 2000, the ‘Christian’ and ‘Monsieur’ was dropped and replaced with Dior Homme. Heidi Slimane brought attention to the brand with his ultra-skinny silhouette; favoured by musicians such as Johnny Borrell and Pete Doherty. It created such an impact and influenced even the most iconic fashion moguls; Chanel’s Lagerfeld admitted to dropping lbs in weight just to fit into Slimane’s suits.
Following Slimane’s departure in 2006, Van Assche took over in 2007. One of his strongest collections was autumn/winter 2014, where he referenced Christian Dior and added his lily of the valley – his good-luck charm and stitched the founder’s own handwriting into garments. In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, whilst celebrating a decade at the house, Van Assche ‘evolved Slimane’s look “into a much cooler, more democratic and sporty” direction.’
Van Assche stepped down after an 11-year stint, as, Jones takes over.
Jones’ career started in the ‘90s in London. He studied at Central Saint Martins with his graduate collection bought by John Galliano. Soon after, he launched his own label, showing street wear inspired pieces at London Fashion week in 2003. After eight seasons, he was named creative director of British luxury goods brand Dunhill. He’s also worked with brands including Umbro, Mulberry, Alexander McQueen, Hugo Boss, Topman and Uniqlo. His appointment in 2011 at Parisian label Vuitton cemented his place as an influential menswear designer.
So, what will Jones bring to Dior Homme? Perhaps he will loosen up the silhouette Slimane pioneered and tap into his street wear background – something he did so successfully at Vuitton, even collaborating with Supreme, a New York-based brand founded in 1994. He’s expected to bring a huge following, if his 359,000 Instagram followers are anything to go by, and a few famous friends. Expect to see Kate and Naomi front row.