Dior Confirms Kim Jones as Men’s Wear Artistic Director

LONDON — The British designer Kim Jones was confirmed as the new artistic director of Dior Homme on Monday, two months after he stepped down as artistic director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton. He will replace Kris Van Assche, who had been in the role 11 years.

The creative reshuffling and the hiring of Mr. Jones, who will start April 1, are the first major strategic decisions by Pietro Beccari, chief executive of Christian Dior Couture, who joined the brand from Fendi in November. The news will most likely only heighten speculation about the future of Maria Grazia Chiuri, the fashion house’s artistic director of women’s wear, whose tenure has received mixed reviews. And it comes just days after another major fashion house, Nina Ricci, said its creative director of three years, Guillaume Henry, was stepping down.

The high-profile announcement on Monday ends feverish speculation about Mr. Jones’s next move in the fashion industry. The news of his appointment came minutes after LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the French luxury conglomerate that owns both Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton, said that Mr. Van Assche would be leaving Dior. Mr. Van Assche will, however, remain in the LVMH group, a statement said, in a role that has yet to be announced.

“I am delighted to welcome Kim Jones at Dior Homme,” Mr. Beccari said in a statement, adding that Mr. Jones would “create an elegant men’s wardrobe both classic and anchored in contemporary culture.”

“I am confident that he will continue to further develop Dior Homme on a global scale,” Mr. Beccari said.

There had been much speculation in recent months about where Mr. Jones would go after his unexpected departure from Louis Vuitton in January, although it recently emerged that he would stay in the LVMH stable. Mr. Jones, a graduate of the London art and design school Central Saint Martins, held his position at Louis Vuitton for seven years, and had at one stage been tipped for the top creative job at Burberry before it was given to Riccardo Tisci. He will present his first collection for Dior Homme in June, during Paris men’s fashion week.

“I am deeply honored to join the house of Dior, a symbol of the ultimate elegance,” Mr. Jones said. “I am committed to create a modern and innovative male silhouette built upon the unique legacy of the house.”

In his previous role, Mr. Jones was widely applauded for revitalizing the Louis Vuitton men’s wear line for a younger generation, mixing the house’s travel heritage, which sits at the highest end of the price spectrum, with a more street-friendly style. His previous position remains unfilled, although there was much discussion during Paris fashion week last month over whether Virgil Abloh, the American designer behind the Off-White label, might be tapped for the role.

Dior does not break out revenue for its men’s business. However Christian Dior Couture posted overall revenue of 43.7 billion euros, or $53.7 billion, last year, an increase of 11 percent over 2016. In April, LVMH took control of Christian Dior Couture in a $13 billion deal, simplifying a complex ownership structure under which Dior was the parent company of the group.

Content originally published on https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/business/christian-dior-kim-jones.html by ELIZABETH PATON