kris van assche is leaving dior homme

…and Kim Jones is replacing him.

by Steve Salter
19 March 2018, 11:43am

Image via Instagram

This article was originally published by i-D UK.

After spending over a decade as creative director at Dior Homme — and a further four years before that working with Hedi Slimane — the boundaries between Kris Van Assche and the luxury house have blurred. No more. This morning, WWD revealed that the designer is moving on from Dior Homme. With this news, his fall/winter 18 show can be read as a final love letter to the house he’s called a home for much of his working life.

"I grew up here,” Van Assche explained as we sat inside his atelier to preview the collection. The collection built on the narrative of spring/summer 18 that saw Van Assche reconfigure Christian Dior’s New Look into a menswear silhouette fit for the 21st century. “It’s about using elements of the iconic Bar jacket — a Mr. Dior legacy — but pushing it further,” he excitedly explained before pointing to the archive black and white images that inspired his New Look. "It started with Mr. Dior bringing men’s tailoring into the world of women’s fashion. Now we’ve got the women’s DNA inspiring the men’s, so we’ve come full circle,” he explained. At the time, it felt like a coming-of-age collection as his own nostalgia for 90s clubbing and love of sportswear was fused with his deep underlying respect for the shapeshifting and tailoring DNA of Dior. Now, it can be read as an emotion-filled full stop.

“It is with great emotion that I thank my team, my studio, and the ateliers,” Van Assche explained in a statement that followed the news. “Their support and their unique talent and ‘savoir-faire’ have made all my creations possible.ˮ As he waves a fond farewell to Dior Homme, Van Assche is expected to take up a new assignment within the LVMH Group. While his destination is currently unknown, the latest round of creative director musical chairs sees Kim Jones take the still-warm seat at Dior Homme. From Versace to Burberry, in the two months since his departure from Louis Vuitton men’s was announced, Kim has been linked to a number of houses but Dior Homme makes perfect sense. “I am deeply honored to join the house of Dior, a symbol of the ultimate elegance,” Jones explained in a statement. “I am committed to create a modern and innovative male silhouette built upon the unique legacy of the house.”

Not only can Jones lose himself in an archive that contains more than 70 years worth of fashion innovation but it will seem him reunited with Pietro Beccari, the recently appointed chairman and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture who had previously worked with Jones at Vuitton. “I admire his creative vision, which combines both his own inspirations of contemporary culture and his own reinterpretation of specific codes and heritage of a house,” Becari explained this morning. “I am confident in his ability to recreate his universe within the maison Dior and imagine for Dior Homme an elegant and resolutely modern wardrobe.” We’re equally as confident in Jones’s ability and look forward to his first show in June.

Now as one house confirms its future, who will be next? If the Riccardo Tisci to Burberry and Hedi Slimane to Céline moves have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.

Dior Homme
Kim Jones
Kris van Assche