On The Cover
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PARIS, MAY 24, 2021
by NICOLE PHELPS of Vogue
It’s three years next month that Kim Jones made his Dior Men debut, setting a template with the thousands of pink flowers that lined the Paris runway and the giant Kaws sculpture at the center of it for lavish shows featuring artist collaborators. After Kaws came Daniel Arsham, Amoako Boafo, Kenny Scharf, and Peter Doig, and pandemic-proof lines of shoppers outside Dior Men stores around the world.
Absent a runway and an art world partner, this collection presents an opportunity to investigate the other hallmarks of Jones’s tenure. If they’re not as splashy, they’re no less considered; a Zoom presentation of this season’s novelties suggests that few things escape his attention to detail.
Sneakers are a good place to start. Jones reported that footwear is Dior Men’s largest growing category, with “huge figures.” This season’s new addition is the B30, whose aerodynamic and large CD logo treatment was influenced, he said, by French modernism. (There is much experimenting with logos here, including a heart-shaped CD lifted from Marc Bohan, the designer who helmed Dior for nearly 30 years.) Or consider the new Lingot bag, shaped as its name suggests like a bar of gold. Offered in a range of sizes, each bag features a nifty slot for Apple’s AirTags, making them trackable via the iPhone’s Find My app. A stainless steel flask engraved with the Dior Oblique logo is a trifle by comparison, but no less collectible for it.
On the apparel front, a ripstop nylon jacket folds away into a saddle bag built into the jacket’s lining, a product that was a long time in development due to its complex construction. “It’s a techy thing that really makes lives better and fits with the modern world,” Jones said. Utility is the flip side of luxury at Dior Men. A beautiful shearling bomber, for instance, reverses to quilted leather. Elsewhere, the couture-influenced tailoring he’s become known for has been loosened up considerably.
Jones hinted that he’s thinking of spring 2022, which he’ll show next month, as a sort of refresh. “I always ask myself, what would Christian Dior be doing now,” he said. The couturier, of course, made his mark with the New Look as Europe emerged from the devastation of World War II. Fashion is a different industry today, but if the runways still have the power to reshape trends in a post-pandemic world, Jones with his roving eye and boundless enthusiasm, just might be the designer to lead the way.