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Today in Paris Central Saint Martins grad Kim Jones debuted his first collection for Louis Vuitton as their new men's style director. Jones, who is British, previously designed for Topman, Mulberry, Alexander McQueen, Umbro, and most recently Alfred Dunhill. For Spring 2012, he showed suits with the pants rolled up, varsity jackets, zigzag knit sweaters, and even a tux paired with shorts. The color palette contained mostly neutrals such as khaki, navy, brown, grey, and cream. But there was also a red and royal blue Masai-inspired grouping of plaid and Damier check items from scarves to short sleeved shirts.
Jones' premiere collection really displayed his penchant for sportswear and especially outerwear. Highlights include an anorak, trench, safari jacket with multiple pockets, and a quilted coat in the signature monogrammed flower pattern.
Jones told Suzy Menkes in the International Herald Tribune that he was inspired by Vuitton's rich history in the travel world—think steamer trunks from the late 1800s—and his own childhood in Africa. "Growing up in Africa, living with little lizards, snakes and elephants or being chased by baboons—it never really goes away," says Jones. "The thread is travel. It’s the DNA of the brand—but it is not just for travel but for leisure as well."
The immediate reactions via Twitter sang his praises. Michael Carl at Vanity Fair said, "Louis Vuitton show is so me! I want it all now." Jones seems to have finally hit his stride.
· Out of Africa article on Kim Jones [NYT/International Herald Tribune]
· Louis Vuitton [Official Site]