Kim Jones' Last Tribute to Louis Vuitton

Jones has headed up menswear at Louis Vuitton for seven years. The British artistic director is rumored to take over the reins of Burberry soon and was previously eyed by Versace.


LOUIS VUITTON FW18 show in Paris. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION

Most recently, Kim Jones brought streetwear to Louis Vuitton, playing with the brand's heritage. His collaboration with the cult New York skate-brand Supreme sold like hot cakes – a first for the French luxury brand that was reputed for being very protective towards the 160-year history of his founder. But rejuvenating the menswear line for a younger clientele was not the designer's only milestone. Over the years, Jones has been excelling at mix-and-matching various styles with travel and cultural references in the most subtle way. He updated Vuitton's formal attire with sporty essentials, loungewear separates, and nomadic-flavored elements, and pushed the boundaries of the brand's state-of-the-art craftsmanship. An ongoing (r)evolution that has ultimately propelled Louis Vuitton's menswear collections to the forefront of the menswear scene.


LOUIS VUITTON FW18 show in Paris. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION

This Fall/Winter 2018 collection, for its part, had the (obvious) feeling of a “last goodbye”: Kim Jones' best styles from the previous seven years were to be seen on the runway. In fact, the collection itself was named “Overview” and was about the “past, present, and future” of the brand, a way of “experiencing multiple landscapes of the world simultaneously, and also the heritage of Louis Vuitton himself,” according to the show notes.


LOUIS VUITTON FW18 show in Paris. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION

In addition, the main print of the collection (a photographic composition of mountain and landscape images captured during a helicopter flight across Kenya) made a nostalgic nod to the designer's debut collection for Louis Vuitton (men's Spring 2012), when he included masai patterns (red and blue check motifs) in his collection. He therewith paid homage to Kenya, where he grew up, one last time – the cycle is complete.


LOUIS VUITTON FW18 show in Paris. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION

What is next for Kim Jones? The British designer was in discussions to succeed to Donatella Versace, but more recently, the rumor mill has gone wild, declaring that Jones would be the only potential successor to Christopher Bailey at Burberry. As for the French luxury brand, Off-White designer Virgil Abloh is rumored to be a favorite to succeed Kim Jones. Needless to say, Louis Vuitton's youthful and urban quest will most certainly persist if Abloh is to take the reins of the brand's menswear line. Youth, just like Vuitton's menswear, is a constant exploration, after all. 

 

See the full LOUIS VUITTON FW18 Menswear collection here.