Less that 24 hours ago, it was announced that Kim Jones is stepping down from his role as Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton. The British, South Africa-raised designer graduated with accolades from Central Saint Martins, and assumed his role at the French luxury maison in 2011. It’s rare to see such a persistent level of quality across seven years of collections – where Jones revelled and worked through his and LV’s shared passion: travel. From India’s dusty cities to the open plains of Peru, Jones again and again brought modern bohemian elegance to the table, which has attracted a huge following with consumers and industry alike, no doubt highlighted by the much-hyped Supreme collaboration last year. “It has been a huge privilege to work with Kim,” commented LV CEO, Michael Burke. “His ability to set trends is impeccable and his talent and determination have ensured that Louis Vuitton is firmly placed as the leading brand in luxury Menswear today. All of us who have been fortunate to work with Kim wish him continued success in his next venture.” Before his replacement is announced, and Mr. Jones figures out his next step, take a walk with us through some of his brightest moments at Louis Vuitton.
Since the fearless designer duo Humberto Leon and Carol Limtook over the reigns of Japanese-Parisian fashion empire KENZO, their biannual video campaigns have developed into a virtual exhibition platform for emerging moving image talent. First was Watermarked, an uncanny exercise in corporate stock photography by the NYC art collective DIS; followed by Khalil Joseph’s breathtaking five-minute thriller Dawn in Luxor. Since then, emerging and established cinematic talents such as Partel Oliva, Natasha Lyonne, Carrie Brownstein, and Spike Jonze have let creativity flow freely within the Kenzo universe, producing highly original film where all the actors just so happen to wear Kenzo’s latest robes (it’s an advertisment, after all). The latest cinematic take on Kenzo’s graphic and bold fashion is by rising star, the American-Iranian director Ana Lily Amirpour, who got editors watching after her breakthrough hit at Sundance, the Iranian vampire film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014). Here, she is seen teaming up with another fashion favorite, singer Karen O, who delivers a charming soundtrack to the almost 10-minute film. “Humberto and I are technically the producers,” explains Carol in a statement. “The beautiful part about this is it’s two women that decided to make this film together. It’s an amazing artistic endeavor and a conversation between two women. A female musician and a female director. That’s kind of the starting point of this. We’re so excited for it to finally come out.” YO! MY SAINT follows a day in the life of a fashion photographer, as he moves from intimately capturing a model on film, to later unwinding with friends at a karaoke. What is the relationship between photographer and muse, the film seems to quietly reflect on, and who haunts who in this ambivalence? Watch the full clip here.
As all iconic CK campaigns, the newest campaign for Calvin Klein Jeans – the heavy-weight subsidiary of the Calvin Klein empire – features more than just good underwear and tight jeans. To be specific, it features two iconic faces in the making, both by the name of Gerber. The siblings Kaia and Presley, age 16 and 18 respectively, are the off-spring of the exceptionally genetically gifted Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford, both models, and the latter of which is widely recognized as one of the biggest supermodels of all times.
The former so-delineated boundaries between high street, street wear, and luxury, have drastically changed in recent years. The Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration was just the pinnacle of a shifting consumer landscape of fashion, where brands have to be extremely adaptable to ensure ongoing viability – be it through notable collabs or sub-lines, or completely new brand initiates. The latter has been the strategy of Swedish retail giant H&M Group, who since their founding as a department store in Västerås in 1947, have grown to oversee a portfolio of high street names like COS, Monki, Cheap Monday, and Weekday. Most recently, they launched the more up-scale women’s universe & Other Stories – only to brand out once more with the homewear concept Arket, “a modern-day market that offers essential products for men, women, children and the home.” But now, H&M (who is in fierce competition with their Spanish counterpart Zara as the biggest retail brand in the world) are once more shifting their game, with the announcement of an “affordable luxury label” launching early 2018. Coined Nydet, a combination of the Swedish words Ny (new) and Det (it), presents itself as unrestrained by the fashion calendar, focusing instead on periodical collaborations with designers catering for the millennial consumer group. “Targeting the younger, brand experience-favoring crowd, Nyden aims to blend pop-up events with e-commerce for a seamless transition between the satisfaction of brick & mortar and the ease of shopping online,” reported Hypebeast in a recent article. While not much is disclosed about the project, you can already sign up for updates on their website.
SS18 was a fashion season that saw an unusual amount of nostalgia on the runway, particularly focusing on the hedonistic hey-days of 70s and 80s club culture. At Diane Von Fürstenberg, creative director Jonathan Saunders presented a party-infused party in homage to the brand’s creator, who was a mainstay in the booming New York disco scene – a far cry from today’s highly regulated city space, where Trump looms like a giant rain cloud over personal freedom and expression. “It’s nostalgia for a time when freedom of expression was at its height, especially here in New York, and for me that’s something to be inspired by,” Saunders said – echoing the general mood of the season, also expressed at Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and Coach. Across the pond, Parisian luxury house Saint Laurent has been championing nostalgia party aesthetics ever since Hedi Slimane was brought in to re-boot the brand in 2012.
It’s fair to say that 2017 has brought us some iconic, emotional, fashion moments. Amid uncertain worldwide geopolitics, fashion remained the escapism it’s meant to be. Here are our top fashion moments, because it’s good to reflect on what enthralled us this year in order to approach 2018 with confidence and hope.
It’s hard to keep up with the new Gucci, who since Alessandro Michele’s ascent as creative director almost three years ago has lived, partied, and increased revenue, in a postmodern flux of visual hyper-stylization. Just as the mainstream fashion world has embraced his humorous revival of cringe 70s jet-setterism, Michele quickly moved onto to even more obscure playgrounds, embracing vintage sci-fi cinema as his key inspiration for one season, and Bugs Bunny and Elton John for the next. Gucci’s light-hearted treatment of visual culture is as fashion as it gets: wildly appropriating, operating in surfaces, with a tongue-in-cheek self-awareness that is conscious of history yet chooses to ignore it. Fashion is the strongest image machine of our modern society, and it can process pretty much any -ism it likes, and turn it into a cute jacket in the process.
The general rule that a model’s shelf-life is not much longer than a pack of free-range eggs is, thankfully, well in the way of getting undone. The surprising response to a rapidly accelerating fashion industry is our desire to cling to familiar faces, and who is more iconic than the supers?
How we treasure those moments when conventional womenswear brands take a risk and dip into the world of menswear. Lagerfeld has offered a few takes on the Chanel man over the years – just as Stella McCartney recently extended her ecological vision to the world of men. We know – it’s a complex world – with many conservatisms and rules that are still only beginning to get get undone. But it is exactly because of all this exciting work ahead – a deconstruction of the classic men’s silhouette – that it’s important when womenswear brands offer their more playful approach to cut, fit, and colors. This is proven in the new mens capsule collection by New York brand Sies Marjan, spearheaded by creative director Sander Lak. Lak has long been known for his casual but eclectic take on dress in his personal life – and in fact, it was the staples of his personal wardrobe that served as an inspiration for the collection, which sports 14 pieces. Not straying to far afield, the collection also samples the familiar color-scheme of the women’s line – proving that Sies Marjan goes far beyond any gender classification. Lak approached Thomas McCarty to shoot the douce-toned campaign, featuring the beaux Roberto Rossellini and Niko Trabuman – and for your luck, the collection is already available for purchase on their e-store.
It’s award season! The Oscars, the BAFTAs, you name it. But the most important one – Fashion Awards 2017 – took place last night, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, in the company of a star-studded audience consisting of fashion’s most important gate-keepers. Previously British Fashion Awards, the Swarovski-sponsored prize recently re-named itself to open up for an international market; and in the process, establishing itself as the most authoritative fashion award in the world. This was felt yesterday, as the event attracted the industry’s key players to celebrate as well as remember the unique power and play in fashion, even in these dark times. A particularly emotional moment was super model Naomi Campbell’s tribute to the late Azzedine Alaïa, whose recent passing sent shock-waves through the industry; while recently appointed Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri remembered the notorious and wildly ambitious Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani, who passed earlier this year in her battle with cancer. These two moments of mourning and reflection suited the event, which is otherwise known for constantly pursuing the new and “ground-breaking”. From models to young designers in both mens and womenswear, the best of the fashion year 2017 was crowned by a glamorous roster of presenters – highlights include current British Vogue cover girl Adwoa Aboah as Model of the Year and Raf Simons for Designer of the Year – a title he has very much earned after stellar collections at Calvin Klein as well as his eponymous brand in the last 12 months. See the full list of awardees below: