Kim Jones on collabs, Travis Scott and the Lone Star State
Dior Men debuted its first full collab collection with a musician on Friday, a linkup with rapper, music producer and style setter Travis Scott in a spring-summer collection where the Lone Star State met rap gods and Wild West iconography.
In previous seasons, Jones has collaborated with artists like Kaws and Kenny Scharf but this seemed an even more organic meeting of ideas with Scott. Scott and his Cactus Jack brand have partnered with several global behemoths like Nike, McDonald’s, PlayStation and Tommy Hilfiger. Even once playing a legendary blitz of a set at a private party for Tommy in September 2018. Travis has worked with Dior before, modelling the Air Dior capsule collection Jones created with Jordan Brand last year.
Besides Dior, Jones has as big a job in Rome, directing Fendi haute couture and women’s ready-to-wear. For whom he will present his next collection in a fashion flick in July.
So, we caught up with Kim Jones as he was putting the final touches to the Dior Men collection in a studio yards from the Arc de Triomphe, for a discussion on collabs, Travis Scott and Monsieur Dior’s fondness for the Lone Star State.
FashionNetwork.com: What did you want Travis to bring to the collection?
Kim Jones: I guess his approach. We were looking at different things when we were together and we were brainstorming. How he was looking at his personal references like Jimi Hendrix, at people that were wearing cool flares. People wearing formal clothing but making them look real, and that was what was interesting. It’s like we’ve spoken for years and years about doing stuff, and we were sending ideas back and forth, and finally said ‘let’s go!’
FNW: Travis came and worked with you in Paris?
KJ: No, we did it remotely, because it wasn’t possible to travel. It’s actually very hard to travel right now. Especially if you are British. Nobody seems to want us anymore!
With Travis there was lots of stuff going on. Like he started a foundation for kids that are going to Parsons, and that is how we started the initial talk. I thought it would be great if we worked together, to gain more money for it.
One of his nicest ideas is this double saddle, with those details that I think are super cool, and it will be a limited-edition piece. And then Victoire (de Castellane) did this great piece of high men’s jewelry. White pearl and diamond cactus, with this beautiful form and I love the idea that it is half a million euros. You know, we are finding that people who are buying actual pieces from Dior want things that are unique. I’m looking for things that facilitate what people want from Dior, and I thought that was a really nice thing to do.
FNW: Why do enjoy collaborating so much?
KJ: Because, I just think that in this world, when we were locked up for so long last year and we didn’t see that many people, we’re happy to see them again. We just did a collection with Sacai because Chitose Abe is a very good friend of mine and I was missing Japan. Travis is one person that I talked to a lot in America; but the next one is with a writer. I’m taking different approaches. You know Travis is a musician, and then we’re going into writing, playing with things. If you consider every collection you see, there is a graphic theme. I like the graphic concepts of somebody else, because they also give that different perspective, which is interesting.
FNW: Besides Sacai how many collections are you doing?
KJ: I think we’ve done 15 for Dior so far, and seven for Fendi. I think I will have to keep an eye on it, because I know the things that I can and can’t do. I’m pretty into work so I like to work fast. But, you can’t be indecisive. We fly from here to there; to write and film and then do couture straight after, and then two other fittings for two other collections…
FNW: When and how will you show Fendi couture?
KJ: On July 7. We’ll do it as a film, because you know when we started to prepare the process, the looking up and the looking down. And I didn’t want to waste a lot of money on something like a show that might never happen, so I’m happy that it’s going to be a beautiful film. Because 99% of the people who look at the collection will see it in a film or on a screen. Plus, the couture customers get sent the collection afterwards, so you don’t need that many customers to make a lot of money from couture.
FNW: What do you want people to think when they see your collection?
KJ: It’s a real show about optimism, it has a lot of different elements that are fun and exciting, I think we need to make people feel joy now, because it has been quite a grim time for a lot of people, especially young people who follow the brand a lot. And that’s what you really think about - what the customers think. They are my critics, and not you guys. Because they’re the ones that buy, you know. When I see a queue outside of every Dior store in the world, I’m probably doing something right, so you can see there’s something fun in there. I do think it’s a business, and I think it’s really nice to bring someone in that is self-made and influences the young generation as well, because we’ve done some amazing things that I could never think of.
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