Kim Jones will be leaving Louis Vuitton and vacating the role as artistic director of menswear after the Fall 2018 catwalk show on Thursday. The French label announced this, finally closing the months of speculation but bringing up more questions about where he will likely end up.
Jones is a graduate from Central Saint Martins who founded his own menswear line in London only to close it back in 2008 to become the creative director of Dunhill, then Louis Vuitton. He held the title at Louis Vuitton for seven years, and he is the fifth major designer to leave his job in the last six weeks along with Phoebe Philo from Céline and Jonathan Saunders from Diane von Furstenberg.
“These houses are under tremendous pressure to be right on the money of what certain generations want,” Michael Hainey, the executive director of editorial for Esquire magazine, said. “He showed just how you can take something that’s got a fantastic heritage and still do something very modern with it.”
Jones was widely applauded but also sometimes criticized for refreshing the Vuitton menswear line for much younger generations. He mixed house’s travel heritage with a more street-friendly style.
In a statement, Michael Burke, chairman and chief of Louis Vuitton, gave credit to Jones for some of the brand’s most successful collaborations:
“It has been a huge privilege to work with Kim. His ability to set trends is impeccable, and his talent and determination have ensured that Louis Vuitton is firmly placed as the leading brand in luxury men’s wear today. All of us who have been fortunate to work with Kim wish him continued success in his next venture.”
Burke did not announce a predecessor in the statement but said one will come in due time.