Since taking over as artistic director of men's wear at Dior in 2018, Kim Jones has commissioned artists including Kaws, Daniel Arsham and Hajime Sorayama to collaborate on his collections. Now, for the first time, Jones has reversed the process and designed a line inspired by a group of paintings.
For Summer 2021, Kim Jones chose to collaborate with with Ghana-born, Vienna-trained artist Amoako Boafo, a passionate dialogue that began in 2019. Their initial meeting at the Rubell Museum in Miami was artistic love at first sight; from this electric bond was born a true mutual admiration.
Having spent his childhood years in African countries — Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana — Jones has a visceral relationship with the continent. The designer traveled to Ghana in February — his last trip before going into lockdown in London — to soak up Boafo’s universe, which is presented in a video edited and soundtracked by Chris Cunningham. “His work is very personal, and the people that he paints are his friends,” Jones said.
Expressing and mixing different cultures and techniques, and exploring perceptions of blackness, and masculinity in particular, Amoako Boafo's artwork is translposed onto garments illustrationg savoir-raire and history of haute couture. Subtly streamlined and refined, the looks combine sportswear influences wth the House's exceptional tailoring, highlighting unexpected links between the painter and Dior's heritage.
This timely collection is probably Jones’ most personal work for Dior so far.
“Portrait of an Artist" Dior Men's SS21 Collection | Photos © Jackie Nickerson
At the crossroads of contemporay art and documentary, the video revealing the Dior Summer 2021 men's collection is presented in two parts: a first installment edited and sound tracked by the video artist Chris Cunningham with images shot in London and at Amoako Boafo's studio in Ghana; and a second unveiling Kim Jone's creations, directed by Jackie Nickerson. A celebration of the art of portraiture and the magical power of creativity.