Kim Jones Interview
Louis Vuitton Exclusive
Just three season's in, and the slick fit of Kim Jones and Louis Vuitton reaps yet another Paris menswear highlight. Post New speaks exclusively to Louis Vuitton Men's Style Director Kim Jones about the run up to their Spring/Summer 2013 show, suits on beaches, and far-flung travel.
Mandi Lennard: What led you to focus on sea 'n' surf for this collection?
Kim Jones: I was thinking about the fact that Yves Carcelle [CEO, Louis Vuitton] loves sailing and that there's two very different coasts in France. It was a bit more scuba than surf in the end; camera bags were shown with Cashmere wetsuits.
ML: I know you love to travel, but you're more desert than coastline, right?
KJ: I like being active on holiday. I'm not someone who can sunbathe all day so I like a bit of both. I'm usually in the water rather than on the beach, but I'll always visit somewhere interesting.
ML: It's a more relaxed and casual feel than last season; how did you manage to achieve this with let's say the suiting, as the slouchy feel of the loose pants seems to take all stuffiness out of the usual idea of a double-breasted jacket?
KJ: Well, I wanted it to be a bit more sportswear as it felt right and is very Louis Vuitton. We kept all the formality, but just gave it some ease so it's more comfortable and the constructions are very carefully done to create lightness and ease; the technical seersuckers allowed a very light suit which looks very rich.
ML: The clothes seemed to float down the runway; how did you achieve this light feel with the fabrics?
KJ: With lots of development and work! Just really wanting to achieve the idea of a suit on a beach, and for it to feel real and not naff.
ML: Impressive casting as usual. Who did you work with on this?
KJ: Shelley Durkan of course.
ML: What was the biggest challenge in the run up to the show?
KJ: Time! But we are pretty organised and calm, so we just go with it now.
ML: What did you eat that morning?
KJ: I didn't eat anything. Just drank some water.
ML: Who was the creative team with you backstage?
KJ: Alister Mackie - Styling, Guido Paulo - Hair, and Peter Philips - Make Up.
ML: The illuminated catwalk looked beautiful. How did this come about? How involved are you in areas such as the setting for the show?
KJ: I originally wanted to do a show where you could see a sideways view of the proportions with all the shapes - such as the backpacks - and silhouettes, but then it became more. I asked Andrew Daffy from House Of Curves, who edited a video I did with Toyin years ago, to get involved. We developed an underwater journey as Louis Vuitton is all about a journey, and I was as hands on as I could be, but trusted Andrew to achieve this, which he did.
ML: Who did the soundtrack?
KJ: Honey Dijon worked with me on the soundtrack and I love it!
ML: What's been the soundtrack to working on this collection - what are you listening to at the moment?
KJ: All sorts, mainly summer hits and I have to say a lot of Fleetwood Mac.
ML: Those accessories! How much fun did you have working on this area and which bag have you grabbed?
KJ: I am lucky enough to have all the bags already, so I'm already making the kids in Paris jealous with them now.
ML: It's been 3 seasons now. How do you feel you've fitted into the LV culture?
KJ: Things are going well, and it's a very nice company to work for.
ML: We miss you in London, Kim. How's life in Paris?
KJ: I really miss London, but I'm back a fair bit, when I tend to be a hermit and catch up on British TV and potter around the house. I do miss my friends a lot, and it's hard not just being able to pop by to see them, and missing out on special events which happens a lot lately. I'm beginning to find my way around Paris - places I like to eat - and I like being at home here. It's a world away from London, but there's a WH Smith and an M&S!
ML: When you're not traveling, what is typical downtime for you?
KJ: Proper downtime, ie sleeping a lot! I love bed.
ML: Any imminent travel plans?
KJ: I'm off to Bhutan, Nepal, Abu Dhabi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar in the next month.
ML: And finally, what would be a luxury for you right now?
KJ: Being in the middle of the countryside with nothing to do - and a big bed xxx.
Photographer - Mathieu Dortomb/Louis Vuitton Malletier