Image: Stephane Cardinale-Corbis: Getty ImagesKim Jones walking the runway

Kim Jones is the one man that has affected so many luxury brands that are currently enjoying the fruits of the legacy he has left behind during his tenure.

He started off his career as a student at Central Saint Martins for his undergraduate degree. Upon graduating, John Galliano bought his collection. Not long after that, he started his own label. He named it after himself, Kim Jones.

Image: Brett Lloyd

Becoming a force in the industry began when he started showing at London Fashion Week in 2003. Jones became well known for his designs that embodied edgy, with a street-wear inspired aesthetic. Jones continued designing for his label for eight seasons, then debuted at Paris Fashion Week in 2004. However, the company was disbanded, after he was offered a position at Dunhill, to take up the position of creative director at Dunhill.

After 3 years, his time at Dunhill got him noticed by Louis Vuitton and was appointed style director of Louis Vuitton’s ready-to-wear menswear collections in 2011. There he was, a success with his debut collection. He continued to elevate the Louis Vuitton men’s department to what it was now.

Moving on from that chapter, he went on to Dior in 2018, where he has done phenomenal work, especially with the shoe collection. The Air Dior being the most sought after example. Currently, it is the most coveted shoe. Which came about from his contract with Nike, who asked him to design a Jordan. Jones then wanted to combine the two brands and suggested that they do it with Dior. 

His love for shoes dates back to when he and his friends would all contribute to a budget, and buy Jordans together and take turns wearing them. So the birth of the Air Dior was for his own selfish reasons, since he wanted to have a pair of Dion Jordan. 

Bringing the shoes to life required approval from Michael Jordan himself, the Nike team, and the Dior team. It was no small task. He had to get approval from Nike and Dior and meet their individual needs to make the shoe. For example, Dior needs all their products to be made in Italy or France.

The launch had complications because of the pandemic. Jones detailed the sensitivity around releasing a shoe that would be this expensive during that time and the social distancing guidelines they had to be aware of, which would limit the amount of people that go out and get the shoe.

This attention to customers is the premise of Kim Jones’ success. To him, it is all about listening to the customer because he knows a happy customer is likely to return. Which is visible in how his customers from Dunhill have followed him to Dior and Fendi.

Kim Jones
Image: Style Du Monde

Kim has won Menswear Designer of the Year by the British Fashion Council in 2009 and 2011, and two consecutive Topshop New Generation awards. 

Currently at Fendi, where his first collection was a success too. Where he paid homage to Karl Lagerfeld through the collection. When asked about what makes him such a designer, he often credits his travels, he views traveling as an essential part of the creative process. He has traveled extensively throughout Asia and Africa. In July he presented his first ready-to-wear collection. Where his first Fendi bag ironically it’s named ‘The Fendi First’ has been a major success. 

Fendi First bag
Image: Courtesy of Fendi

For those who want to follow in his footsteps, on the BOF podcast he said, “Never think about the money, think about doing your job. Work hard, don’t think about social media, think about the actual reality and just get on with it. And ask questions”.

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