The rumor that had been floating around was confirmed yesterday, ahead of the Louis Vuitton menswear show this morning: Kim Jones, Men’s Artistic Director, was leaving the label after seven successful years at the helm. Jones is famed for his clairvoyant ability to see the rise of streetwear to the realm of high fashion, a trait that he solidified last season with the too-good-to-be-true Supreme x Louis Vuitton collaboration, a hype-beast’s wet dream. It almost seems as if that collaboration would have been the perfect swan song, but it was clear today that he wasn’t quite finished.
In the show notes, Jones spoke of “Discovering something new. A constant voyage” and there was to be a transitory theme to the collection, with garments that could literally “travel on the body.” The idea of travel is something that Jones has repeatedly approached for the house, renowned for its luxury luggage. The key print was a photographic image taken from a helicopter ride over Kenya — a sign of high luxury that also says plenty about the hectic pace one must endure when at the head of a global luxury brand.
The atmosphere at the venue was electric, with multitudes of friends and fans from London over for the day to celebrate his tenure, and a heavy dose of designers in the front row: Virgil Abloh, Olivier Rousteing, Grace Wales Bonner, and Craig Green to name a few, alongside Vuitton mainstays David and Victoria Beckham with their son Brooklyn. The big surprise on the runway came with the appearance of Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss in the new Glazed Monogram raincoats (and very little else) followed by in-house fit model Dominik Sadoch in a two piece glazed Monogram denim suit. It was the end pf an era at Vuitton, but clearly the beginning of a new chapter for the house, as they themselves wrote in the notes: “It is an overview, a fresh perspective. Looking forward, to new horizons.” The guessing game continues for Jones’s replacement.