PARIS, France — Kris Van Assche is stepping down as artistic director of Dior Homme after 11 years at the brand. Kim Jones, who exited his role as men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton in January, is set to succeed Van Assche.
Jones’ appointment is the first big move by Pietro Beccari, the newly installed chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture, who joined the brand from Fendi in February. Jones will present his first collection for Dior Homme next June, during Paris men's fashion week.
"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,” said Beccari. “I thank Kris Van Assche for contributing to the amazing growth of Dior Homme by creating an elegant and contemporary silhouette for men. He wrote an important chapter in the history of Dior Homme and played a key role in its development.”
"I am deeply honoured 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.”
"After 11 years at Dior Homme, my mind and heart filled with experiences, I am leaving this beautiful house to pursue new challenges," said 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."
The likelihood of Van Assche's departure and the appointment of Jones was first reported in BoF earlier this month. The move comes soon after Beccari’s arrival, which follows the departure of long-time Dior chief Sidney Toledano, who moved into the role of LVMH Fashion Group chairman as part of a wider senior executive shuffle at the world’s largest luxury group. Dior Homme chief executive Serge Brunschwig recently left for Fendi, taking up Beccari's former role as chief of the Roman brand. The creative shuffle leaves Beccari in control of both the men’s and women’s sides of the Dior label, a possible precursor to further coordination — even integration — across the brand’s multiple divisions.
In April 2017, LVMH took control of Christian Dior Couture in a $13 billion deal, simplifying a complex ownership structure whereby Dior was previously the parent company of the group. The move also enabled better coordination between Parfums Christian Dior, which was already owned by LVMH, and Dior’s haute couture, leather goods, shoes, and men’s and women’s ready-to-wear businesses, which were run completely separately.
While Dior does not break out revenues for its men’s business, Christian Dior Couture posted revenue of €43.7 billion last year, an increase of 11 percent over 2016; organic revenues grew 12 percent.
Jones graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2002, going on to launch his namesake label the following year. In 2008, he joined British menswear luxury brand Alfred Dunhill as creative director, prompting him to close his own line. In 2011, Louis Vuitton tapped Jones to design its men's line. There he worked briefly with Beccari, who served as marketing director of the house until 2012.
Jones' tenure as Louis Vuitton's men’s artistic director cemented his prominence as one menswear's leading talents. His streetwear-inflected collections were well-received. His recent collaboration with Supreme, revealed at Vuitton’s Autumn/Winter 2017 show, was a blockbuster success.
Known for his urban, minimalistic aesthetic, Van Assche trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, before moving to Paris to work at Yves Saint Laurent under Hedi Slimane. He followed Slimane to Dior Homme in 2000 but left in 2004 to start his own menswear label, which was well-received and garnered much attention from the industry at large. In 2007, when Hedi Slimane departed Dior Homme, Van Assche succeeded his former mentor at the creative helm. Van Assche’s label was closed when he last renewed his contract at Dior Homme in 2015.