In some unexpected news from Paris this morning, Kris Van Assche has announced that he is leaving the Dior fashion house after 11 years at the helm. And what’s more, Kim Jones, who only left his position as men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton in January, is set to be his successor.
This is the first big shake up since the appointment of Pietro Beccari as chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture. In his statement he thanked Van Assche for his work, saying that he ‘wrote an important chapter in the history of Dior Homme’ and stated his confidence that Jones will ‘create an elegant men’s wardrobe both classic and anchored in contemporary culture’.
It is exactly this combination of young and old which defined Van Assche’s unique vision for the classic brand. He kept the traditional tailored silhouettes yet ensured that there was a fresh and urban vibe to his aesthetic.
Never one to shy away from a throwback, his last show ‘forever young’ was a nod to the 90s and his obsession with 80s music prompted artists like The Pet Shop Boys and Boy George to star in his campaigns. Youth subculture also played a large part in his artistic vision; he shot a film about skaters with director Larry Clark and featured cult rapper A$AP Rocky in a 2016 campaign, bringing street style into the mainstream.
Jones has vowed to continue this vision in his new role, saying that he is ‘committed to creating a modern and innovative male silhouette built upon the unique legacy of the house’. Let’s hope Jones has what it takes to keep the youthful zeal that Van Assche cultivated so well. We’ll have to wait until his first collection debuts in June to find out.