Since his arrival as Artistic Director of Dior's menswear collections in 2018, Kim Jones has never ceased to affirm his sincere love for art. After a monumental collaboration with artist Kaws for his first fashion show, then Hajime Sorayama, Alex Foxton or more recently the American artist Daniel Arsham, the designer knows how to surround himself by audacious and creative minds who make all the interest of our times. For his spring-summer 2021 collection, Kim Jones chose to work with the Ghanaian painter Amaoko Boafo, imagining his pieces according to his tender and intimate portraits.
Since the beginning of his career a few years ago, Amoako Boafo has been painting in large format people around him, inspired by their faces, their looks, their personalities and their life stories. Beginning in 2018, his “Black diaspora” series takes a new look on black bodies and identities coming from the African diaspora, which he reflects on his support by painting with his fingers, a technique that gives his canvases all their texture and relief. The combination of dense skins, delicate pencil strokes and plain backgrounds makes Amoako Boafo an unmistakable contemporary heir to Egon Schiele, and instantly appealed to Kim Jones when he discovered his work.
Dior men spring-summer 2021 collection
Colors and textures, as well as the silhouettes, painted by Amoako Boafo, were what brought Kim Jones' new collection to life. Here, the designer uses radiant and soft tones - coral, yellow and pastel blue, light grey, lilac or aniseed green - that can be found on the clothes or backgrounds painted by the artist, while his curved silhouettes with tricolour belts, where many shorts are mixed with shirts and jackets with ample shoulders and sharp trousers lengthening their legs, take up the graceful look that characterises the subjects of his canvases. One of Kim Jones' favourite paintings, which shows a young man in a shirt covered in ivy, is literally taken up by the creator, while another male face painted by the artist is directly incorporated into a thick fur sweater. As for the Dior monogram, it appears discreetly on sweaters and socks to blend elegantly into this wardrobe carrying a very contemporary masculinity.
In a video directed by Dior, in which Amaoko Boafo and Kim Jones both express themselves on their collaboration, the canvases and silhouettes are layered, intersecting and colliding to best illustrate this fruitful creative encounter. As an ongoing reference to Monsieur Dior, flowers make their appearance on the pieces they enlighten, embroidered with sequins, but also in the hands of models. A production that reflects both the delicacy and sensitivity of Amoako Boafo's paintings and the new wind that Kim Jones has been blowing through the French house for two years now.