Kim Jones’s career; from being a MA graduate from Central Saint Martins and launching his eponymous brand in 2003 to being the designer who brought sportswear to Louis Vuitton and now an artistic director for Dior.
Since his Dior debut on June 23, 2018, Kim Jone’s collections are a result of collaborating with people he admires: from KAWS (SS19) to Hajime Sorayama (Pre-Fall 2019), Raymond Pettibon (AW19), Daniel Arsham (SS20), Shawn Stussy (Pre-Fall 2020), and the Trust Judy Blame Foundation (AW20).
His latest collection for Dior Men is a continuation of his approach to sharing the spotlight with creative figures and blending their visual styles; the result of a collaboration with the Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo.
Instead of a traditional runway show, due to the COVID-19, Kim Jones presented his SS21 collection online via a film. Split into two parts, the first explores the artist’s life and work, with commentary from Jones, while the second focuses on the collection itself showcased via a set of images taken by Jackie Nickerson.
“I really, really, really love [Boafo’s] work and I’ve wanted to work with an African artist for a long time because I grew up in Africa, and African art has always been something that’s important to me,” says Jones, who spent his childhood across Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Ghana. “We started with the idea of ivy, which was a very famous Dior dress, and when we were in Ghana we saw a beautiful new work of his which had a guy in an ivy shirt and that was the starting point of this idea of taking the textures and the prints and the patterns and the colours of his work and really turning that into the portraits coming to life.” Ghana-born and Vienna based, Amoaka Boafo is famed for using both his fingers and brushes to paint portraits of his friends. His work mainly focuses on exploring perceptions of Blackness and Black masculinity and portraiting the contemporary African lifestyles. “I love fashion and I tend to look at characters who have a sense of style,” explains Boafo in the Dior film. “The interesting part, for me, of working with a fashion house is how they were able to transfer my fingerpainting technique onto clothes.”
Kim Jones first met Amoako Boafo at the Rubell Museum in Miami and the house describes it as “artistic love at first sight”.
“The styling of the collection is really looking at the paintings and seeing the characters he painted and what he was painting in reality and then bringing it back to life in a different way,” Jones continues. “Originally the idea was for a show, which now isn’t possible and I completely appreciate why, so we looked at the idea of focusing on his life and his subjects and his portraits and creating something that feels very Dior, but a portrait of an artist who I greatly admire.”
By Maria Peftouloglou