Kim Jones is pretty much the coolest—like, the coolest. He studied at Central Saint Martins—cool. His graduate collection was instantly snapped up by John Galliano—cool. He has an insane vintage collection including wares from Leigh Bowery, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s Seditionaries, and Christopher Nemeth—so cool. And since being appointed as Louis Vuitton’s men’s artistic director in 2011, he’s made the French house’s menswear mind-blowingly cool. Remember that Supreme collaboration? The one that exploded the Internet and every fashion obsessive’s brain? Yeah, that was him. He did a lot more than that, like some of the house’s “most successful” collaborations (including the one with Jake and Dinos Chapman, which reflected the well-traveled designer’s fondness for wildlife and exotic locations), and producing garments that seamlessly fused the realms of streetwear and high, French fashion.
Today, it was announced that this particular era of cool is coming to an end, as Jones’ forthcoming Fall 2018 menswear outing, which will debut in Paris on January 18, will be his last.
“It has been a huge privilege to work with Kim,” said Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO. “His ability to set trends is impeccable and his talent and determination have ensured that Louis Vuitton is firmly placed as the leading brand in luxury Menswear today. All of us who have been fortunate to work with Kim wish him continued success in his next venture.”
Naturally, this being fashion and all, everyone is obviously already speculating about what that “next venture” will be. Back in September, WWD reported that he was being courted by Versace, and now there are rumors that he could be going to Burberry, seeing as Christopher Bailey is departing the brand in March. Given his track record at Vuitton, he’d likely do, well, very cool things at either house. As for his replacement? Vuitton promises to announce its next menswear director “in due course.” Let the guessing game begin.