When two icons meet – Jordan and Dior – a new champion rises. Kim Jones, artistic director of Dior, introduces Air Dior
Kim Jones knows men’s style. The British designer has held top roles at Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen, Hugo Boss, and even Uniqlo. Often looking to travel (he grew up in Africa) and art as foundations on which he builds his collections – cue his past collaboration with Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama – now he’s looking squarely at the court and American sport culture. Specifically, Jones is taken with all things Jordan, Michael Jordan; one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The drop, a mashup of Dior and Jordan brand codes, features high-tops crafted with Italian calf leather and stitching, a transparent printed outsole, and tone-on-tone jacquard on the tongue. Collectors: ready, set, swoosh.
How did you play with Dior and Jordan Brand codes here?
I love mixing together different worlds, different ideas – Jordan Brand and Dior are both emblematic of absolute excellence in their fields. To bring them together in this special collaboration gave us the opportunity to present something exciting, with the special savoir-faire of craftsmanship in the Dior factory in Italy combined with Jordan’s technical prowess.
What about the Air Dior logo?
I love that the Air Dior logo has the feel of 60s travel, which seems extremely luxurious to me. Tell us about the style. The Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior has a specific size of Swoosh, which is much bigger compared to the classic Air Jordan 1 High OG. Also, the Swoosh incorporates the Dior Oblique pattern.
How did you balance savoir faire with innovation?
The Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior is entirely made in Italy. We used Italian leather and worked on the construction in the same way we would have crafted a bag with painted edges and special stitching. Its most apparent innovation is the hard sole, which is transparent with a printed logo – there’s a different logo on each foot, for example the Air Dior Wings and the Dior logo. This transparency is made possible only by using a special rubber in a specific color.
How would you describe the Air Dior collection?
It’s a twist of audacity mixed with elegance. It brings sportswear to a higher dimension.
What was your main inspiration?
It comes from Michael Jordan’s off-court style. He wore suits all the time – I love that. These pieces bring together the house’s exceptional tailoring expertise with a 1980s American sportswear feel inspired by the legendary basketball player. The collection balances timeless silhouettes from the Jordan and Dior vaults while bringing new life to classic sport styles. We have created a new silhouette, between tailoring and luxurious sport attitude.
What is special to you in this collection?
I like the fact that we’re doing something that’s extremely unexpected in terms of clothing. This collection is very sophisticated and modern and we used only luxurious fabrics, such as silk and cashmere. This new capsule transcends sportswear in an unexpected way through the art of tailoring and perfectly reflecting the Dior codes. The limited edition is available now in select Dior stores.
Originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Vogue Man Arabia