Kim Jones' move to Versace is taking shape
After several rumour-filled months, Versace may be about to reveal the name of its new creative director. After Riccardo Tisci left Givenchy last February, social media has been aflame with the wildest speculations, in turn betting on a move to the Italian label by Tisci himself, by Olivier Rousteing, Virgil Abloh, and finally Kim Jones. According to information we have received, the latter now seems the most likely candidate for Versace's top creative job.
Kim Jones is well-known for his couture streetwear and is in charge of men's fashion at Louis Vuitton since 2011. He succeeded in bringing a breath of fresh air to the label, skilfully jettisoning its formal tone and giving it a more directional identity. Until now, he has never worked on women's ready-to-wear, but his career progression has been spotless ever since he left school in the early 2000s.
Contacted by FashionNetwork.com, Versace has not confirmed the information, calling it a "rumour". Yet, according to an internal source, Donatella Versace may well be ready to welcome and bring to the fore a new creative director, having herself been in charge of style for 20 years after the death of her brother Gianni, the Italian luxury label's founder.
On the other hand, a certain nervousness is filtering through from Louis Vuitton's menswear atelier. According to a source close to Kim Jones, the designer may well be willing to move to Milan, though he would first have to sever his contract with Louis Vuitton, which was renewed last year.
“There’s no comment to make. This is just speculation. Kim Jones is under contract,” a Louis Vuitton spokesperson told FashionNetwork.com, noting that rumours were also swirling around womenswear creative director Nicolas Ghesquière not so long ago, “and he is still here!”
Kim Jones is a cosmopolitan designer and art lover, born in London in 1979. He has a Menswear MA from London's Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. His graduation show won high praise within the press and the industry, and John Galliano bought part of it. In 2003, he was admitted to the London Fashion Week with his menswear label, showing a blend of street style and sport fashion.
While still working on his own label - which he terminated a few years later - Kim Jones was also ultra-busy on a series of collaborations with Umbro, Hugo Boss, Topman and Iceberg. He was honoured at the British Fashion Awards several times, and also worked for Alexander McQueen before being called up in 2008 by Dunhill, where he became creative director, until he joined Louis Vuitton in 2011.
Since he was a small child, Jones has been a globetrotter, following his family in Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and the Caribbean. He is nomadic and curious about the world, and has always drawn inspiration from his countless travels and exotic experiences to create his collections.
The Versace family holds an 80% stake in the eponymous label, and US investment fund Blackstone owns the remaining 20%. Versace is led since last year by Jonathan Akeroyd, and closed 2016 with a net loss of €7.4 million and a revenue growth of 3.7%, reaching €668.7 million.
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