Fashion and art have always had a symbiotic relationship. At times, it is straightforward, where the garments act as canvases for iconic pieces of art. More often than not, the works of art serve as a form of inspiration and starting point for designers and their collection.
For Kim Jones, who recently took over the reins of the Dior Men’s collection, this relationship has gone a little further. He tapped New York-based street artist, Kaws, a fellow creative he admired from afar, to work on his debut collection. But more than just repurposing the artist's work on his collection, Jones channelled their shared sensibility and appreciation for street culture, melding it with the softer, more feminine side of Christian Dior.
With that as a starting point, Kaws reimagined the Dior logo in a new font and painted it blush pink. He gave the emblem of the house, the Dior bee, new life, complete with the artist’s signature ‘XX’ eyes that also appear on the collection’s floral shirts and leather bags.
Kaws also created two editions of Mr Dior in his iconic BFF style—a doll that modelled the Baby Dior spring/summer 2019 collection as well as a 10m tall sculpture made out of roses and peonies that served as the centrepiece for the runway set.
But their partnership did not stop there. The duo collaborated on a limited-edition collection of accessories, jackets and T-shirts that are part of a bigger capsule collection, serving as a prelude to the spring/summer 2019 line. Launching at the same time, the capsule collection also sees Jones dropping the B23 high-top sneakers with the Dior Oblique, saddle bags with hardware designed by Matthew Williams from Alyx as well as denim pieces with multi-coloured Japanese boro embroidery.
Jones’s burgeoning relationship with artists during this tenure is more than just an attempt at commercialism (although that’s not a label that he shies from). It was a tribute to the founder of the house, Christian Dior, and his appreciation of the arts, that is tastefully updated for our times.
And if the recent Dior Men pre-autumn 2019 show, which saw him collaborate with Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama, is anything to go by, the legacy of Mr Dior and the house he built is in good hands.
Photography, styling and words by Eugene Lim. Shot on iPhone XS.