Another day, another major shift in the fashion world. Just weeks after Ricardo Tisci was named Christopher Bailey’s replacement at Burberry, Dior Homme artistic director Kris Van Assche has announced he’ll be stepping down after an 11-year run. We didn’t have to wait long for the Parisian house to name his successor: Kim Jones, who departed Louis Vuitton in January, will debut his first collection for Dior during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June.
The move comes after former Fendi boss Pietro Beccari was appointed chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture last month, replacing Sidney Toledano, who took over as chairman and CEO at LVMH Fashion Group. Those appointments, in turn, follow LVMH’s acquisition of Dior last April for $13 billion, expanding the high-end conglomerate’s already sparkling roster of fashion houses.
All of this sounds like a very confusing game of musical chairs. Everybody gets up, shuffles around for a bit and next thing you know someone’s left without a chair. In this case it’s Van Assche, at least for the time being.
“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,” Beccari stated in a press release. “I am confident that he will continue to further develop Dior Homme on a global scale.”
The move is strategic for Beccari and Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH1. Jones is a pioneer in bridging the gap between streetwear and high fashion, the pinnacle of his tenure being Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Supreme in 2017. Pieces from that collection are still circulating on the resale market for thousands of dollars over the already exorbitant retail prices. Jones made further waves in January, when he sent Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell down the runway in monogrammed LV coats to close his final menswear show.
While Van Assche’s tenure had its moments, Dior Homme hasn’t felt truly radical or relevant since Hedi Slimane—who recently made a much-heralded move of his own to Céline—had his legendary run of super-slim, rock ‘n roll tailoring in the mid-2000s. No doubt, Jones’s LVMH bosses will be hoping he can bring some of that buzzy desirability back to Dior Homme.
While Van Assche will likely stay with LVMH, it is not clear what or where his next role will be. “After 11 years at Dior Homme, my mind and heart filled with experiences, I am leaving this beautiful House to pursue new challenges,” he wrote in a statement. “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.ˮ
The question of who will replace Jones at Louis Vuitton also remains unanswered. One theory posits that Louis Vuitton’s womenswear designer, Nicolas Ghesquière, will take control of both lines. OFF-WHITE founder Virgil Abloh and Lucas Ossendrijver of Lanvin are also rumoured contenders, but there’s been no word from LVMH as of yet.
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|1.||↑||Apparently, LVMH hands out “chairman and CEO” titles the way Disney hands out Star Wars trilogies.|