Kim Jones is taking over the reins of Fendi as artistic director of haute couture, ready-to-wear and fur collections for women. It will be his first-ever foray into womenswear. The position was last held by the legendary Karl Lagerfeld, who passed away in 2019.
Jones will continue in his role as creative director of Dior Men’s, making him among the few designers to straddle two major fashion houses at French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. In his role at Fendi, he will work closely with the house’s third generation leader Silvia Venturini Fendi, who will focus on creating accessories and the menswear collections at the Italian house.
“My warmest welcome to Kim, to whom I am bound by deep respect and friendship. I am looking forward to taking the Fendi universe to the next level with him,” said Venturini Fendi in a press statement. Meanwhile, Jones said that “working across two such prestigious houses is a true honour” and a “huge privilege”.
Jones is one of the most inventive designers in fashion, best known for his collaborations—first at Louis Vuitton, then Dior—which have tapped artists such as Kaws, Daniel Arsham and Hajime Sorayama. He was also behind the groundbreaking collaboration between Louis Vuitton and cult skatewear brand Supreme in 2017, which was credited as a catalyst for LVMH’s sales rising almost 23% in the first half of that year.
As such, his appointment seems to have come naturally to LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, who praised the designer as a “great talent” with the ability to “adapt to the codes and heritage of the LVMH houses while revisiting them with great modernity and audacity.”
The British designer is one of fashion’s wunderkinds: His graduate collection from Central Saint Martin’s was bought up by John Galliano, and he went on to set up an eponymous menswear label before joining Dunhill and subsequently, Louis Vuitton and Dior Men’s. Over the course of his career, he has built strong friendships with celebrities and supermodels such as the Beckham family, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, who closed his last show for Louis Vuitton; and among designers such as Virgil Abloh (his successor at Louis Vuitton), Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, Heron Preston, and more.
“Kim has the uncanny ability to actually create culture. From Vuitton to Dior, he has redefined the modern day high fashion collaboration with cult streetwear brands,” says Vogue Singapore’s editor-in-chief Norman Tan of Jones’ appointment. “This has worked a charm for the street-crazy menswear market, but what is the equivalent for womenswear? Is a beauty collaboration on the cards? It will be interesting to see how he applies his deft understanding of the zeitgeist to create buzz and desirability for Fendi.”
Jones will show his first collection for Fendi in February 2021.