Kim Jones: 'Travel inspires my collections'
Kim Jones' designs are inspired by his trips to far flung destinations.
The London born designer's wanderlust is well complimented by his role as style director for Louis Vuitton. The luxury brand started out as a trunk-making company for travellers.
In an interview with website Men's Folio, Jones revealed a lot of inspiration comes from his travels, even down to observing what bags people are carrying at the airport.
"I’ve been travelling since I was three months old. It has been part of my life and I’ve lived abroad a lot when I was a child – Africa, South America, and the Caribbean," he smiled. "I was back and forth all the time on the plane, always have been, and probably always will be. It has become a part of my life. At Louis Vuitton, they love the idea that I am interested in travel, and the fact that we think about what travelling men need to wear in the world."
For the Spring/Summer 2016 collection Jones found inspiration while on a trip to Thailand, after admiring the design of the traditional attire of the nation's Lahu tribe on a visit to a museum, and it was something he felt inspired to incorporate into his collection.
"It’s beautiful yet has a certain modern appeal to it, something that I can see in contemporary sportswear. I like the idea, and by combining denim and silk, I went on to design the Souvenir Jacket. That was really how it started," he explained.
More inspiration came from Southern China, "Because it is the year of the monkey, and I love monkeys, I found a Chinese monkey called the snub-nose monkey, and we did it in red, which is very auspicious."
Jones has designed for various fashion houses, including Hugo Boss and McQ by Alexander McQueen, before becoming a star in his own right at the French fashion house as its style director since 2011, where he's become known for his luxury take on streetwear. Now some of the luxury brands are also moving towards a younger, more energetic design direction, something that Jones sees as inevitable, but he is also aware that the price point may not suit a younger market.
"Fashion is quite youthful but people who buy luxury goods do not necessarily have the money to do so until the later part of their lives. When we did this collection, we knew it would be popular with the younger crowd because of the print," he shared.
"When I do a collection, I think about what a new customer can buy like the next scarf or the silk shirt – things that are not really expensive but practical and logical."