Kim Jones and Shawn Stussy on Their Dior Collaboration

For his Pre-Fall 2020 collection for Dior Men, revealed in Miami this week, Jones partnered with Shawn Stussy – here, the pair discuss their collaboration

Kim Jones is famously passionate about travel, something that is reflected in his life – he’s constantly trotting the globe – and his work, in which he weaves different countries and cultures deftly into his designs. For his Pre-Fall 2020 collection for Dior Men, Jones transported us to 1950s Cuba and Florida, staging the show itself in the state’s capital, Miami – on the eve of Art Basel Miami.

“It’s Miami!” says Jones on the spirit of the collection. “The colour palette had to be Art Deco tones, and the Dior man for this collection is successful, he is tailored but with an American sportswear chic attitude.”

This combination of tailoring and American sportswear is typical of Jones, just like his love of travel: mixing high and low, haute couture and streetwear, he combined embroidery and beading, French berets and bob hats (courtesy of Stephen Jones), floral motifs and python prints, with trainers (the result of a collaboration with iconic basketball label Jordan Brand) and pieces created in partnership with Stussy (the man, not the brand).

“I chose to collaborate with Shawn Stussy because Christian Dior collaborated with the best American brands of his era,” says Jones of this collaboration. “And Stüssy is one of the best US brands today.”

Born out of the skater/surfer scenes of 1980s California, Stüssy was revolutionary, in many ways foreseeing the future of fashion and paving the way for what we now understand as ‘streetwear’.

“Stüssy – arguably the first of its ilk – deftly blended skate and surf, hip-hop, punk and club culture,” wrote Calum Gordon for Another Man, in 2017. “... Arguably [its] most powerful and lasting act came in its decision to begin subverting the logos of other brands... It might not have been the first to riff on the iconography of other brands, but it certainly pushed the idea into the consciousness of the fashion mainstream. Without it, there would be no DHL by Vetements, no Gosha-does-Hilfiger, and no Palace spin on the Versace Medusa head.”

Working with Jones, Shawn Stussy followed in this legacy, subverting Dior’s logo and reimagining it in graffiti style and creating new prints. Here, in the wake of the show and speaking in his own words, Stussy tells us more about this collaboration and what it represents to him.

“I can talk about what this collaboration represents to me and I believe that Dior exists in a very rarefied air. The very top of the luxury pyramid, the undisputed king of the game. The opportunity to work and hang out with this crew is a great little exclamation point to put on my journey, you feel me? 

“At this stage of my life, if I am going to get back on the field I want to play with the best. My conversations with Kim felt so natural and simple that I said to myself, ‘Why not? Cool this is happening at this level of play, go for it man’.

“My inspiration came from the surf world where I’ve been living for such a long time now [but] this project has been a true collaboration with Kim and his team. I created black-and-white inkwork and submitted it; they in turn coloured it and teamed it with certain fabrics and couture techniques that are amazing. 

“A man and a felt pen, that’s about as simple as [the prints] get. They requested a logo or two, a new bee design, and work on a repeating pattern if it feels right. Natural and stress-free is a good explanation, I guess. 

“Kim and I have many things in common. He travels in a familiar crowd from my past life. He is a student of culture, not a culture vulture, which is very important to me. We both have a huge love of the Japanese scene, design, art and lots of other things. He seems to me to be doing it for the right reasons, he does not need to be all up in it for his own ego, no need to be the star of the show – I like that vibe a lot!”