Olivier Rousteing on KRIS VAN ASSCHE for BERLUTI
I’m really happy for Kris. And I think this is a fascinating moment for menswear. For many years in fashion we really focused on womenswear and menswear was sleeping. I can tell you that when I started here at Balmain the way the business perceived menswear was completely dif ferent. Now al l that is changing fast. People have realised it is a huge business. This introduction of talented upcoming designers or redeployment of established designers to new houses r ef lects t hat. They a l l h ave r eally d iverse messages a nd s peak t o dif ferent genres of t aste and style.
At Dior Homme what Kris did was really interesting because he was mixing two elements. He knew there was a heritage of tailoring, top-level global t ai loringthatyoucan fitto an internati on algro up ofsophis tic ate dc usto mers.Andatth esame tim eh ewas al sothinking ab outyouth,and some tim es streetwear, and f iltering it through the progressive philosophy of his Antwerp background. And I think that mix is what made Dior Homme something very much particular to Kris: h is own story. I’ve known Kris for about six years. He is very interesting as a character. LVMH has demonstrated positivity, loyalty and a f aith i n his work by taking him to Berluti, a house with a beautiful heritage. I’m certain that he is going to articulate his mix of tailoring and youth culture there in a fascinating way. Andyo use et hattrustf rom LVMH in itsc on tinuing re lati onshipwithKim too. It is good to see a company trusting its designers, and asking them to evolve their metier in a new way at a new house. All of the f ive designers you are talking about will bring a new fan base to their houses, and that will also h ave anint ere stingeffectonthe per cept io noft ho se houses.
Another thing that is changing is that many houses are looking for more coherence between their menswear and their womenswear. As barriers break down in society and roles are no longer def ined as being only for men, or only for women, fashion is ref lecting that on the runway too. That’s because brands a re building worlds. As I said, t his i s really an i mportant moment for menswear - and I’m not at a l l surprised that Kris i s r ight at the heart of it.