Dior’s tale of two cities leads to Texas and back to Paris in menswear tour de force

Kim Jones, the creative director of Christian Dior’s menswear, has collaborated with names ranging from skateboard brand Supreme to artist Peter Doig. For his spring/summer 2022 collection, the first shown in front of a live audience for 18 months, he went for an alliance with serious reach.

The collection was a collaboration with the rapper Travis Scott and his label, Cactus Jack. Scott has 40million Instagram followers and multi-platinum albums, and he is in a relationship with mega-influencer Kylie Jenner.

The entire collection was a collaboration between Jones and Scott. The show notes described it as “a conversation – between two friends, two cultures, and two different eras”. Scott’s music also soundtracked the show.

The mix of Scott’s America and the French heritage of Dior was part of the inspiration – in particular Christian Dior’s trip to the US in 1947. “One of his first ports of call was Texas, which he loved,” said Jones. “He loved it more than LA and so I looked at that as the idea to start a collaboration with Travis Scott.” Scott was born in Houston, Texas.

This geographical connection was represented most explicitly in the set, which featured Scott’s trademark cacti and sun-bleached rocks like those in American deserts, mixed with Parisian tropes such as romantic roses and a gilded gate. Mushrooms – currently a favourite motif of trends like cottagecore – also featured.

The clothes worked for the aesthetic that Jones has developed since he arrived at Dior in 2018 – they looked luxurious but had an edge of cool. Colour was crucial. Tailoring was instantly more fun in bright colours such as fluorescent green and a vivid pink. “We wanted it to feel very much a reflection of the landscapes we were looking at and almost under the vivid sun,” said Jones.

Rapper Travis Scott and designer Kim Jones pose backstage with models after the Dior Homme menswear spring/summer 2022 show
The rapper Travis Scott and designer Kim Jones pose backstage with models after the Dior Homme menswear spring/summer 2022 show. Photograph: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

There were also sweaters with graphic prints, decorated varsity jackets and a monogram print that mixed Christian Dior’s classic CD with ‘TJ’ for Travis Jack. Almost all models wore fluid bootleg trousers, suggesting the long-predicted demise of the skinny jean has come to pass. The two men took a bow at the finale together, with Scott wearing the bootleg trousers.

Scott is no stranger to collaboration. He has worked with brands as diverse as Nike, PlayStation and McDonald’s, and Forbes has called him “corporate America’s brand whisperer”. His Nike deal is said to have been worth $10m.

He is now a bona fide muse for fashion’s most exclusive brands. In addition to the Dior collaboration, he is featured in Bottega Veneta’s new magazine. He has appeared in campaigns for Saint Laurent and Alexander Wang in the past, and collaborated with the cult store Dover Street Market.

His fashion influence is set to continue. His Cactus Jack Foundation has partnered with Parsons School of Design to provide fashion education in Houston high schools.

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