Kim Jones
by Stephen Garner
Kim Jones
Kim Jones

Big news in the world of menswear: After 11 years, Kris Van Assche is stepping down from his role as artistic director of Dior Homme. He will be replaced by former Louis Vuitton men’s artistic director Kim Jones.

LVMH Group, the parent company of Christian Dior Couture, said that Van Assche will “continue to express his talent and creativity within the LVMH Group.” His next assignment will be announced at a later stage.

“I thank Kris Van Assche for contributing to the amazing growth of Dior Homme by creating an elegant and contemporary silhouette for men,” said Pietro Beccari, chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture. “He wrote an important chapter in the history of Dior Homme and played a key role in its development. I am delighted to welcome Kim Jones at Dior Homme. He will benefit from the support of the teams and from the ‘savoir-faire’ of the Ateliers to create an elegant men’s wardrobe, both classic and anchored in contemporary culture. I am confident that he will continue to further develop Dior Homme on a global scale.”

“After eleven years at Dior Homme, my mind and heart filled with experiences, I am leaving this beautiful House to pursue new challenges,” added Van Assche. “I wish to thank Bernard Arnault for the trust he placed in me, Sidney Toledano and Serge Brunschwig for their warm welcome at Dior and their continuous support during all those years of collaboration. Finally, it is with great emotion that I thank my team, my Studio, and the Ateliers. Their support and their unique talent and ‘savoir-faire’ have made all my creations possible.”

Kris Van Assche
Kris Van Assche

Jones graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2002 and subsequently launched a namesake label during London Fashion Week in 2003. However, he closed that business in 2008 to join British menswear luxury brand Alfred Dunhill as creative director.

In 2011, Jones was recruited by Louis Vuitton to design its men’s collection, taking charge of one of the fastest growing sections of the global fashion powerhouse.

During Jones’ tenure, Louis Vuitton’s men’s division came into its own thanks to his distinctive, streetwear-inflected take on luxury, most recently underscored through the blockbuster collaboration with popular New York-based streetwear label Supreme, revealed at the Autumn/Winter 2017 show. He ultimately announced his departure from Louis Vuitton in January.

Rumors of where Jones would land after his departure from Vuitton ranged from Burberry to Versace, but his move to Dior Homme makes for an interesting choice since most front row gossip did not peg Jones as returning to another house owned by LVMH.

“I am deeply honored to join the house of Dior, a symbol of the ultimate elegance,” said Jones. “I would like to warmly thank Bernard Arnault and Pietro Beccari for their trust in giving me this incredible opportunity. I am committed to create a modern and innovative male silhouette built upon the unique legacy of the House.”

Jones will present his first (and, most likely, much-hyped ) collection for Dior Homme this June, during Paris Men’s fashion week.