“You’ve got to stay on top of things,” according to Kim Jones, the former Dunhill designer who now runs the menswear line at Louis Vuitton, under Marc Jacobs. “I’m working for the biggest luxury goods house in the world so I need to make sure I am supplying what men need.”
What Mr Jones thinks young fellas need this autumn is a menswear collection inspired by the Himalayas in which he offers leopard-stenciled fur and cashmere coats, leather (for puffer jackets and travel bags) and pieces designed by artists Dinos and Jake Chapman. These included jewellery in the form of animals, a snow leopard design for a sweater (pictured here) and a lush multicolored print that the Chapmans called the “Garden of Hell,” after Diana Vreeland’s famous description of her apartment.
Jones explored Nepal and Bhutan to find inspiration for his collection, which surfaces in suit fabrics that echo Bhutanese patterns and colors and coats made of traditional Bhutan felts woven from yak hair with needle-punching that make the garments look virtually seamless. The designer confesses that he can be obsessive about research (“I read everything I can. I go everywhere I can”) but his latest dance with the bookworms gave him lots of room for spunky optimism about Vuitton’s future sales.
“By 2020, China will be 75 per cent men or something. So there’s a lot of spoilt young men out there to go shopping, aren’t there!” he recently told an Australian financial newspaper. True enough and with the Louis Vuitton Autumn Winter collection now arriving in stores stylish men throughout China can get in touch with their inner yak.