In a surprise announcement, literally hours before the event, the British Fashion Council announced that British designer Kim Jones will be celebrated as a fashion industry Trailblazer at this year’s Fashion Awards in partnership with Swarovski.
Kim Jones will be honoured at the ceremony on Monday 10th December at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The Trailblazer Award will recognise Kim Jones’ always-on cultural zeitgeist, his reputation for challenging the norms whilst respecting heritage, history, creativity and innovation.
The 2018 Trailblazer is a new award introduced for the first time at The Fashion Awards 2018 in partnership with Swarovski. The award recognises the very best innovators and creatives in fashion that are significantly shaping the industry today. Since his appointment as Artistic Director of Dior for the Men’s Ready-to-Wear and Accessory collections in March 2018, Kim Jones has developed Dior menswear on a global scale. His debut collection, which has been described as “light and romantic”, was presented during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June 2018, where he commissioned American artist KAWS to reinterpret the iconic bee emblem of the house.
The collaboration created not just a new icon, but further translated into art installation in stores and landmarks in key fashion cities worldwide. The show heralded as an immediate success, with increased interest from media and consumers, including a growing female audience reflecting the trend for men and women forgetting the gender focus of a collection and buying pieces they simply want to own, wear and love.
Kim Jones, Artistic Director of Dior Menswear, commented “I am very happy to receive this award from the British Fashion Council. This recognition for my work means a lot to me.”
For the brands recent catwalk show in Tokyo, Kim Jones presented a “darker and tougher” collection, a reinvention of the Dior classics, which dominated social and traditional media alike.
Tokyo was the brands first pre-fall menswear show, and the first time any fashion house has presented its men’s pre-fall on the catwalk, setting the Dior menswear’s stall as the power player in menswear to rival the womenswear dominated global luxury brands and their bi-annual pre-collection global destination shows.
This time, his collaboration with Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama pushed boundaries; the two are culturally, creatively and futuristically in tune, paying full respect to a nation and capital that Kim references as “The Future”.
Kim Jones collaborations aren’t gimmicks, they are part of his creative universe. They inspire both new thinking as well as commercial success. Before becoming a couturier, Christian Dior worked as a gallerist and collaborated with the leading artists of his time. Kim Jones recent collaborations with artists like KAWS and Hajime Sorayama have therefore been described as a modern generation’s take on Mr Dior’s precious artist collaborations.
A Central Saint Martin graduate, Kim Jones uses his platform as a designer and creative carefully, giving access to his customers and friends through his personal digital channels and more carefully through media interviews when he has something significant to say. His integrity in design is reflected in his generosity, which often manifests in generous reference to his peer group of designers, his mentors that he has learnt from, the young talent that seek his advice as well as fashion icons of past and present for their longevity, experience and impact on the industry.
Note: This article was updated at 9:00 PM December 10th to add the photos from the event.