Kim Jones is constantly zipping around.
He’s just zipped in from holidaying with friends in Kenya—a destination he has frequented since he was a child and loves for its remoteness and abundance of animals—leaving him with freckles floating above a fresh tan. Throughout our conversation at the Dior Men headquarters in Paris, where he has served as artistic director since 2018, the British fashion designer zips from thoughts about Baby Yoda to ideas about elephants. Tomorrow he zips to Milan to work on his second womenswear show with Fendi, where he has also served as artistic director since September 2020—and a surprise, now-viral crossover with Versace—before zipping to the Dolomites for his birthday weekend. One gets the sense that Jones is not someone used to standing still.
“I had this conversation during my holiday for about four hours about how this tiny, creative part of my brain has made my entire life and now affected so many people around me,” he says. He’s leant back behind his desk in a small, unassuming office, with books strewn about and unopened gifts around his ankles. “But I try not to think about it too much because that would drive me mental. I just get on with it.”
That part of Jones’s brain has been responsible for making him one of the most in-demand designers of the last decade, beginning with his tenure as artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton from 2011 to 2018, where he launched that explosive Supreme collaboration, and cemented himself as one of the first designers to be able to effortlessly straddle luxury and streetwear.
Since taking the reins at Dior Men, Jones has continued to challenge menswear norms, repurposing the women’s Saddle bag into menswear and mining Dior’s couture codes for modern tailoring, saying, “When I first joined, I was most excited about the archive and atelier at Dior”. But he was also thrilled by the eponymous founder’s first career, adding, “Christian Dior was an art dealer, so it was a logical thing to bring more artistic collaborations into the role”, a fact that has led him to feature a collaboration with a new artist in almost every collection, from figurative painter Peter Doig to Kenny Sharf, who splattered Dior’s leather goods with psychedelic cartoons.