1 Kris Van Assche → Berluti
Form: The Belgian designer is known for mixing razor-sharp tailoring with punkish twists in a slick, savoir-faire way. And for trainers, which he loves, often worn with a suit. His move is not hugely surprising given that Berluti and Dior Homme are owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH. Some history: Van Assche was Hedi Slimane’s assistant at Saint Laurent and Dior Homme, before taking the top job himself. Fashion rewards a grafter.
Future: Berluti is traditionally known for understated heritage. The quiet man’s luxury. Though Van Assche is not a complete radical – one who will oversee shoes, leather goods, ready-to-wear and accessories (ie everything) – we can probably expect some high low, lively suiting when he shows next January. And trainers. Don’t forget the trainers. MF
2 Kim Jones → Dior Homme
Form: London-born Central Saint Martins-graduate Jones is one of the major players of the menswear renaissance of the past eight years, having positioned Louis Vuitton’s menswear line as the leader of the pack when it comes to luxe streetwear. Jones is the man who is responsible for LV’s collaboration with cult skatewear brand Supreme. Need we say more?
Future: It was announced last week that Jones would replace Van Assche at Dior Homme, to the delight of his 362,000 Instagram followers and famous friends including Naomi Campbell and Vogue editor Edward Enninful. Jones is expected to raise the profile of the menswear arm of the house following his debut in June – expect fewer skinny suits, more tracksuits and graphic tees. SC
3 Hedi Slimane → Céline
Form: The French designer is famed for the skinny, precision-cut suits he made his signature during his tenure as designer of Dior Homme from 2000 to 2006. However, it was his most recent foray as creative director of Saint Laurent (it was he who dropped the Yves) that has kept him in the current consciousness, reinventing the house with a focus on retro-infused, rock-star aesthetics.
Future: Slimane is controversially taking over the reins at Céline, the house that Phoebe Philo – she of understated tailoring, artistic-yet-minimal layers and Stan Smiths – reinvented for the 21st-century woman over the past 10 years. Many are predicting that his high-profile comeback will herald a grittier aesthetic for the womenswear house, where he also plans to add menswear to his remit. SC
4 Virgil Abloh → Louis Vuitton
Form: Fashion’s current prince of luxury streetwear, ironic logos and a man who speaks primarily in quotation marks, is taking on the biggest job in menswear when he shows for Louis Vuitton in June. Quite a feat given he only launched his own label, Off White, five years ago. Oh, and he trained as an architect. But with a healthy, millennial fanbase, a handle on what people actually wear and experience as Kanye West’s creative collaborator, the move makes more sense than some critics will allow – and proves that Vuitton have a keen commercial eye.
Future: Just over a year ago, Kim Jones collaborated with Supreme, thus paving the way for a new direction. Expect then, a mix of deliciously chic suiting, creative use of the LV logo and lots of streetwear. MF
5 Haider Ackermann → … ?
Form: Colombian-born French designer Ackermann is a fashion industry favourite. He has run his eponymous label to major critical acclaim since 2001 and took on design duties at menswear brand Berluti from 2016 to last week.
Future: Speculation has it that Ackermann is poised to take the helm of a household-name fashion house. In the past, he has been tipped for the creative director role at Maison Margiela, Christian Dior and Chanel. Karl Lagerfeld, the stalwart designer of the latter, professed in 2010 that he would be prepared to hand his “contract for life” to Ackermann. Stay tuned. SC
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