Kim Jones is one of fashion’s foremost creative pioneers. The artistic director of Dior menswear’s ability to interweave and elevate subcultural references within his collections is unparalleled, his understanding of what his audience wants remarkable – and, back before trainers were a mainstay on runways, his integration of a streetwear sensibility into the luxury market set an entirely new agenda for the industry.
In a continuation of that spirit, Jones has now announced that, this November, he will present his Pre-Fall menswear collection in Tokyo: the sort of gargantuan event ordinarily reserved for the womenswear market, and which has never before been undertaken by a menswear artistic director for a pre or cruise collection. “Japan is a magical country that I know quite well and that I love particularly for its incredible and unique culture, history and nature, which have always been very fascinating and a great source of inspiration to me,” says Jones of the decision – and he has long used the country as a point of reference for his work, from reinterpreting its kimono and souvenir jackets to collaborating with its cult designers. Equally, Christian Dior himself found abundant inspiration in the country, using fabrics woven in Kyoto, or naming dresses after his favorite Japanese artist, Utamaro.
But, besides the respective fascinations of Jones and Dior with Japanese culture, holding a large-scale pre-fall event in Tokyo is a savvy commercial move: Jones has long maintained a devoted following in the country, and special-edition drops there are a particularly lucrative business. To coincide with the show, Dior will launch a menswear pop-up in Shinjuku’s Isetan department store, filled with the Summer 2019 capsule collection – the first collection designed by Jones for the house. You can’t imagine those shelves staying filled for long – and if Jones’s visit proves a success, you can be sure the rest of the menswear market will soon follow.
This article first appeared on Vogue.co.uk