The designer said the casting was “not political.”
With the first digital haute couture fashion week officially done, the fashion industry’s attention has turned to the menswear shows for Spring 2021 – which are also happening online. And one of the Spring 2021 season’s most talked about presentations comes courtesy of Kim Jones for Dior Men. For the first time in the house’s history, the collection features only Black models.
Speaking to The Guardian about the collection, Jones said the collection is “not political” adding that he and Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo, with whom the collection is a collaboration, “started this back in December.” He continued, “One of things designers can do is [reflect] the time they are in. For me, diversity is a natural thing: a reflection of the wider world.”
Jones and Boafo met in Miami last year during Art Basel and struck up an immediate friendship. In one of the accompanying videos for the collection, Jones said of the decision to work together: “I really, really, really love his work and I wanted to work with an African artist for a long time because I grew up in Africa and African art is something that has always been important to me.” Boafo also shared that fashion inspires his work, noting that the most interesting part of the collaboration was “how they are able to transfer my [painting] technique on to clothes.”
The collection, called Portrait of an Artist, is a merging of Boafo’s prints with Jones’ designs which Jones says is “exciting.” Speaking with British Vogue, he explained, “You have a Breton stripe underneath an Amoako print so it’s a French, Ghanaian, Dior, Amoako vibe, all existing together. It’s an exchange. I think people need to educate themselves as to who their consumers are, and realize that people from all different parts of the world can create something much more exciting.”
Discover the Dior Men Spring 2021 collection below: