March 19, 2018 / 10:26 AM / 9 months ago

LVMH taps ex-Vuitton Jones for men's designs at Dior

PARIS (Reuters) - French fashion house Christian Dior said on Monday that Kim Jones, formerly of Louis Vuitton, would replace Kris Van Assche as its menswear designer, as parent LVMH seeks to revamp some of its biggest brands with new appointments.

A woman walks past a Christian Dior shop in Singapore May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White

Jones designed men’s collections at Vuitton for seven years and developed a hit collaboration in 2017 with skatewear brand Supreme on a series of hoodies, bags and other goods. Streetwear has become a best-selling line for many luxury firms.

The overhaul at Dior coincides with reshuffles elsewhere at LVMH, as billionaire boss Bernard Arnault seeks to breathe new life into some labels and lift others to a new level by expanding product lines.

Fashion labels are increasingly catering to a younger clientele used to shopping online, and constantly in search of eye-catching new designs.

The latest switch comes from within LVMH’s ranks. Vuitton is a stablemate of Dior’s, and the two are the biggest fashion brands by revenue within the company, according to analysts. LVMH does not break out earnings by labels.

Menswear typically contributes less to sales than women’s collections.

Jones’ departure from Vuitton was announced in January, sparking speculation the Briton, a graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins design school, was head to Burberry.

The British brand has since signed on ex-Givenchy artistic director and celebrity favorite Riccardo Tisci.

Van Assche, meanwhile, in charge of Dior’s menswear for 11 years, will stay on at LVMH in an undisclosed position.

The changes coincide with a management rejig. Pietro Beccari, formerly chief executive of LVMH stablemate Fendi, took over as CEO of Dior in February.

LVMH, which reported record sales and profits for 2017 after demand from Chinese consumers rebounded, is priming other labels for stardom too.

Its French label Celine, which attracted a steady fanbase in the past 10 years with its understated, androgynous style designed by Phoebe Philo, aims to at least double revenues with her replacement Hedi Slimane.

Under Slimane - known initially for designing menswear at Dior where he introduced its hit skinny suits before heading to Kering’s Givenchy - Celine will push into men’s collections and perfume as well as expand online shopping.

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Edmund Blair

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