How Kim Jones Engineers Hype at Dior Men


With rain threatening, a My Bloody Valentine track kicks on and the show begins. Out come the skate shoes and inside-out suits, a shirt and shorts covered in a newsprint pattern flipped from Dior’s Galliano era, puffer jackets quilted with the house’s iconic cannage pattern, and acid-washed jeans straight out of Lords of Dogtown. The stuff that Linnetz and his Venice Beach buddies wear every day, remixed by a couture house.

Like the best Dior Men collections, it represented a cohesive story, and was stuffed with pieces that will have new and old Dior customers opening their wallets. I’d bet those glittering hoodies in particular will inspire many fervent moments in Dior stores: They represent a perfect alchemy between the savoir faire of Dior with a hype idea of the moment, an alchemy that has a way of stoking intense levels of obsession. “It was interesting to do a lot of the language I’ve already created,” Linnetz says of the hoodies. “But Kim has such a bigger understanding of luxury and storytelling and the experience of people when they go shopping. So he was like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to just do another color of something you already do. What’s the Dior version? What can we do with our atelier that tells your story in a new way?’ And it’s not about just repeating something. It’s taking something that has some truth or connection to the zeitgeist and manifesting that for a different audience.”

It’s easy to miss the quiet significance of what Jones has built at Dior. In mastering the relentless pace of the modern fashion industry, he’s become a beacon for creativity and collaboration (and, yes, commercialism).

Back at the hotel the day before the show, I asked Jones about putting hoodies in a Dior show for the first time. “I would never put a hoodie on the runway, because for me that’s not Dior,” he said. But his process opens his mind to new possibilities and new opportunities for discovery, even if that discovery is a $5,000-plus hoodie. When the idea came up, Jones followed his well-honed instincts. He certainly didn’t have time to stop and fret over the decision; his next Dior show, in Paris, was only a month away. “I was like, ‘Fine,’ ” he said. “I didn’t think about it because I didn’t have an issue with it. So it goes.”

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