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Kris Van Assche Is Berluti’s New Artistic Director

The Belgian designer fills the role left vacant by Haider Ackermann.
Kris Van Assche | Photo: Bruno Staub
By
  • Kati Chitrakorn

PARIS, France — In part of a wider shuffle on the men's side at LVMH, Kris Van Assche has been named as the new artistic director of Berluti, where he will be in charge of ready-to-wear, accessories, shoes and leather goods.

The designer, succeeding Haider Ackermann, whose departure was announced on Friday, will show his first collection for Berluti during Paris Men's Fashion Week in January 2019.

"I have always wanted to build bridges between the savoir-faire, the heritage of a house and my clear-cut contemporary vision," said Van Assche. "Antoine Arnault spoke to me of his ambitions for Berluti and it is with great pleasure that I accept this new challenge, which fits perfectly with my own will and vision. I would also like to thank Bernard Arnault for his renewed confidence."

“I am delighted to welcome Kris Van Assche to Berluti,” added Antoine Arnault, chief executive of Berluti. “I have known him for several years, have always admired his work at Dior Homme and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Van Assche's appointment at Berluti, which was founded in 1895 as a luxury shoemaker, is the latest sign that LVMH is responding to the rise of a more casual, streetwear-inflected aesthetic in men's fashion.

The news follows a series of changes on the men's side of the world's largest luxury conglomerate, including the appointment of the street-savvy Kim Jones as artistic director of ready-to-wear and accessory collections at Dior Homme and the appointment of Virgil Abloh as men's artistic director at Louis Vuitton. Earlier this year, Hedi Slimane was named as artistic, creative and image director at Céline, where he will launch menswear.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Van Assche moved to Paris in 1998 for a four-month internship at Yves Saint Laurent, where he worked for Hedi Slimane on the Rive Gauche line. In 2000, he followed the designer to Dior to work on its menswear line.

He left Dior in 2004 and, with the support of friends, launched his own menswear label, which attracted attention from its inception. When Slimane exited Dior Homme in 2007, Van Assche succeeded his former mentor in the top creative position and his integration of streetwear into the rigorous and established codes of the house won over a new fan base for the brand.

In 2015, he put his eponymous label on hold after twenty seasons to focus exclusively on Dior, which he exited last month amid expectations that he would remain within the LVMH group.

Disclosure: LVMH is part of a group of investors who, together, hold a minority interest in The Business of Fashion. All investors have signed shareholders' documentation guaranteeing BoF's complete editorial independence.

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