33 things you need to know about kim jones, dior homme’s creative director
As we begin to imagine how Kim Jones will shape the future of Dior Homme, we throwback to the much-loved designer's many obsessions, achievements and adventures to date.
Photography Mitchell Sams
After a hugely successful seven-year stint as Men's Style Director at Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones quit his position there in January 2018, amid much fashion industry tongue-wagging about where he might next find gainful employment. i-D was one of the first to officially report on Kim's new position as creative director at Dior Homme just a few days ago (following the departure of Kris Van Assche), finally quashing the rumours that he might be Versace-bound.
So, it seems like the ideal moment to have a meander through all-things Mister Jones-related -- reminding you of the much-loved designer's many obsessions, achievements and adventures so far.
1. Kim Jones was born in 1973, in London, but at the age of three the family moved to Ecuador, due to his dad's work as a hydrogeologist – they later moved around to other places including Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and the Caribbean, all places which travel-addict Kim still loves to this day.
2. Kim Jones' first fashion 'moment' involved a childhood obsession with a T-shirt with an image of a lion on it, which he insisted on washing every night so he could wear again the next day.
3. Kim Jones' older sister Nadia was a super cool inspiration to him -- generously giving him her entire collection of years' worth of i-D magazines when he was 14 years old (she clearly had very good taste in publications), which sparked off his interest in clubs, style and all-things fashion: “I loved looking at the people in them, how cool they were,” Kim later told The Guardian.
4. Kim Jones' aforementioned sister Nadia is also in the fashion biz. For 14 years she was the creative director for the high street brand Oasis, and she also worked for a while with popstar Lily Allen on her now-defunct Lucy in Disguise fashion venture.
5. Kim Jones' uncle Colin was a well respected photographer in the 60s, who shot images for the The Observer, as well as National Geographic and Life magazines.
6. Kim Jones undertook a foundation art course at the Brighton College of Technology in 1992, before going on to do a degree in graphics and photography at Camberwell School of Art, then a Fashion MA at Central Saint Martins, specialising in menswear.
7. Kim Jones was taught at Central Saint Martins by the late-Louise Wilson, who was head of the MA course and many years later would always be invited to his shows – she even went on holiday with him: “Louise made me believe in myself and helped me realise what I wanted to do. We became friends after college and she was a great listener and giver of advice, as well as being incredibly funny,” Kim revealed to i-D back in 2015.
8. Kim Jones's CSM graduate collection in 2002 garnered one very-famous-indeed fashion fan, John Galliano, no less, who promptly bought a whole bunch of pieces – blimey!
9. Kim Jones has long been a fan of streetwear – back in the mists of time he used to work for Gimme5, the company that first imported Supreme and Stussy into the U.K, long before either were well-known brands.
10. Kim Jones' eponymous label was launched in 2003 and was one of the very first to be included – in the form of a short fashion film, showcasing Kim's newest collection – at the first season of MAN in conjunction with Fashion East, back in 2005 when London was not quite as high profile-menswear-buzzy as it is nowadays.
11. Kim Jones collaborated or worked with a wide range of other brands during the years he was at the helm of his eponymous label, including Hugo Boss, Topman, Umbro, Mulberry, Iceberg and Kanye West's Pastelle, among others, before becoming the Creative Director at Dunhill in 2008.
12. Kim Jones told the The New York Times that Dunhill was, “a beautiful brand, but it was sort of a sleeping beauty,” then promptly set about waking it up and giving it a fashion-kick up the bum.
13. Kim Jones received the prestigious British Fashion Council Menswear Designer of the Year award twice in 2009, for his work at Dunhill and his own label.
14. Kim Jones has hooked up with some major musicians and producers over the years, including the likes of Nile Rodgers, Michael Stipe and Giorgio Moroder who have all created or curated soundtracks for his runway shows.
15. Kim Jones loves to collect things, including rare vinyl records - he owns actual discs that were once spun by the revered New York DJ Larry Levan at the legendary 80s club Paradise Garage -- and in total has over 6,000 records crammed into his Maida Vale abode.
16. Kim Jones loves to collect rare items of clothing designed by the cult talents who kept '80s underground London club nights as wild as possible, such as Leigh Bowery, Stephen Linard, Rachel Auburn, Christopher Nemeth, Judy Blame and Richard Torry.
17. Kim Jones loves to collect the early era and hard-to-now-find works of big-name designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier and Issey Miyake.
18. Kim Jones loves to collect letters written by the infamous US fashion editor Diana Vreeland, as well as artworks from the Bloomsbury set's key figures, such as Duncan Grant or Vanessa Bell.
19. Kim Jones loves to collect rare drawings by the famed fashion illustrator of the 70s and 80s, Antonio Lopez (whose work was a source of inspiration for Kim’s autumn/winter 12 Louis Vuitton men's collection).
20. Kim Jones is an old pal of Kanye West, who he has known since about 2007 -- they've often hung out in each other's studios, and even spent time in China together: “He’s someone that I do really believe in, someone who stuck to their guns and did what they believed in, which I admire. I love him dearly,” enthused Kim to Interview magazine.
21. Kim Jones once admitted that if he was an animal he would very sensibly be an eagle, as they tend to have far fewer predators than other creatures.
22. Kim Jones was a close mate of the late-Alexander McQueen, revealing to GQ: “He was like an older brother to me in a sense. He had a really good sense of humor, and he also loved animals, so we'd talk about that and drive around in his car listening to Shalamar. He didn't even have a driver's license…”
23. Kim Jones is a long-time bezzy of famous lasses including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Lily Allen and the legendary celeb party planner, Fran Cutler.
24. Kim Jones became the Men's Style Director of Louis Vuitton in 2011, bringing his love of relaxed style and pop culture into the world of lux fashion -- it was a perfect fit for a brand synonymous with artisanal luggage and travel, and a designer who loves to routinely pack his case and jet off to explore somewhere new.
25. Kim Jones is a true nature lover and has declared David Attenborough to not only be his hero but also the “coolest man on the planet”, which might explain why he cited him as one of his references for his first collection at Louis Vuitton for spring/summer 12.
26. Kim Jones also admires the work of conservationist, Gerald Durrell, as well as the incredible images shot by fashion and wildlife photographer, Peter Beard (the latter was also channelled for that aforementioned debut LV collection).
27. Kim Jones just loves Africa, basically, which is not surprising considering he spent some of his childhood living there: “With Africa, there’s just so much to take in. The space, the people, the striking contrast between places,” he cooed to The Telegraph.
28. Kim Jones unleashed some memorable men's moments while at Louis Vuitton, not least the autumn/winter 15 collection which referenced the archive work of his all-time favourite artist-turned designer, Christopher Nemeth, who emerged in early-80s London -- with roughly stitched pieces fashioned from postal sacks and other unconventional fabrics -- before relocating to Japan, where he ran his own label and shop for an appreciative-niche fan base until his death in 2010.
29. Kim Jones commissioned the late-Judy Blame -- the jewellery designer, art director and stylist -- who knew and worked with Nemeth back in the 80s, prior to his own death in early 2018, to make specific pieces of jewellery to accessorise the collection.
30. Kim Jones managed to find the time to publish a lavish coffee table book, titled Michael and Gerlinde's World -- Pages From A Diary, in 2013, which was packed full of previously unseen images from the decade-spanning scrapbooks of London nightlife-fashion-retail creatives, Michael and Gerlinde Costiff. Everyone from Marc Jacobs, to John Galliano, Kate Moss, Kanye West and David Beckham swiftly got themselves a copy.
31. Kim Jones' Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration, for autumn/winter 17, further closed the shrinking gap between the worlds of 'high fashion' and streetwear, thrilled customers around the world, practically broke the internet, gave fashion commentators plenty to pontificate about and sold out in minutes within the succession of related pop-ups stores launched globally to stock the collection!
32. Kim Jones didn't actually get to keep any pieces from the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collab, alas, as he very kindly wanted his mates to have it all: “I just gave away my last thing, a hoodie, to Naomi Campbell. It looks better on her, anyway,” he told GQ. Bless!
33. Kim Jones final men's collection for Louis Vuitton, for autumn/winter 18, proved as popular as ever, with a helping hand in the attention-grabbing stakes provided by his trusty lady-chums Kate and Naomi, who marched down the runway clad in sleek LV-monogrammed raincoats and shiny hiking boots – all in all, a suitably dramatic departure!