Kim Jones is addicted to travel. His departure from Louis Vuitton to pastures new was always going to happen. His professional destination—the subject of much rumor—remains a secret for now, but it’s not quite wheels up yet. Jones will present his 14th and final show for the house tomorrow in what will be a celebratory farewell. Before he goes, here are five of our favorite looks from key show stopovers during Jones’s stint as Louis Vuitton’s menswear pilot, alongside five of his most newsworthy moments.
The Look: Spring 2012, Exit 20
Jones’s June 2011 debut demonstrated that this was a designer who could a) deliver gently casualized tailoring and outerwear that would kick ass in an haute executive/millionaire-of-taste context, b) articulate it in a manner that stood convincingly alongside the extraordinary shows being produced by Marc Jacobs and his team in the Louis Vuitton womenswear studio, and c) make it personal but not ego-trippy. The insertion of Masai shuka checks was a nod to his own upbringing in Kenya and hint at the peripatetic Jones formula to come. —Luke Leitch
From Jones’s debut in Spring 2012 all the way through to his Spring 2018 collection, he’s remained staunchly committed to a piece of adornment around his models’ necks, whether it’s a red band or a silver chain. This trend might not have caught on with the general male population, but you have to commend the consistency. —Steff Yotka
The Look: Fall 2012, Exit 23
Check this sophomore riff from Jones and you’ll see that he was doing luxury athleisure way before it became a thing (Look 14). Plus, he wasn’t afraid of a big logo way before a big logo became a faux-postmodern fashion gesture (Look 20). However, it was the kimono jackets worn as a mid-layer, produced by a Japanese silk specialist capable of producing only 20 centimeters of fabric a day, that were the purest thematic expression of this Paris-meets-Tokyo (to a Giorgio Moroder soundtrack) collection. —L.L.
The Look: Fall 2013, Exit 37
This Bhutanese-facing collection gave Jones extra reason to express his excellence as a designer of luxury technicalwear and featured shirt studs made of stone from Mt. Everest. It also inaugurated his contribution to a Louis Vuitton habit for collaboration that began when Jacobs worked with Stephen Sprouse. Jake and Dinos Chapman’s cute snow leopards (and a more typically terrifying menagerie of animals) were incorporated into silk eveningwear and carpet bags, elevating a collection dedicated to attitude and altitude. —L.L.
The Moment: Judy Blame Makes Men’s Accessories a Must
It’s hard to convince guys to buy a brooch. But if anyone could make it happen, it’s Judy Blame. For a Fall 2015 collection inspired by the work of Christopher Nemeth, Jones asked Nemeth collaborator Blame to design pins, necklaces, and brooches to go along with his innovative collection. The safety pin–inspired pieces were deeply coveted by men and women alike—and still are to this day. —S.Y.
The Look: Spring 2016, Exit 1
“Volez, Voguez, Voyagez”—fly, sail, travel—was the drawn-from-the-archive Louis Vuitton imperative at a Jones collection that comprehensively revived the souvenir jacket and explored the adoration, integration, and, let’s face it, elevation of American workwear in postwar Japan. This was one of Jones’s first collections without a specific destination in mind: The journey was the thing. —L.L.
The Moment: Zayn Shows Up at the Spring 2016 Show
Even those of us blissfully in the dark about the allure of One Direction knew that the appearance of the man who broke up the band in the front row was a big deal. It was just after the group disbanded, and Zayn Malik’s Louis Vuitton star turn was at once juicy tabloid fodder and the beginning of the musician’s love affair with fashion. —S.Y.
The Look: Fall 2017, Exit 24
Yes, this was the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration collection, a Jones-brokered masterstroke of brand dating that created a hyper-wave of hype like no other and was absolutely the headline of this show. The only shame was that the collaboration stole some of the spotlight from Jones’s all–Louis Vuitton work: The introduction of a carefully oversize silhouette to his Paris canon and a series of blinding outwearoutwear is a garment worn by both men and women,for warmth or fashion. Outwear typically have long sleeves and are open down the front, closing by means of buttons, zippers, hook-and-loop fasteners, toggles, a belt, or a combination of some of these. Other possible features include collars, shoulder straps and hoods. pieces made this—along with his debut—my personal joint Jones Louis Vuitton favorite. —L.L.
The Moment: Supreme x Louis Vuitton Breaks the Internet
Luke is right in calling the Fall 2017 Supreme x Louis Vuitton collaboration a “hyper-wave of hype.” Despite all the other subtle, sensible, disruptive things Jones did at Louis Vuitton, making nice with the brand’s onetime enemy and creating a collection that left hypebeasts out of their minds will forever be the top story in Jones’s Louis Vuitton oeuvre. —S.Y.
The Moment: Drake Writes a Song for Spring 2018
Jones soundtracked this Hawaiian-inspired collection with a custom track, “Signs,” by Drake. Sure, musicians make songs for brandsA brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. all the time, but what stood out about this collaboration was that Drake was reportedly inspired by Jones’s work at Louis Vuitton, turning his love of travel and high-low mix of menswearIn clothing, a suit is a set of garments made from the same cloth, usually consisting of at least a jacket and trousers. Lounge suits (also known as business suits when sober in colour and style), which originated in Britain as country wear,are the most common style of Western suit. into a track that promoted the house codes. That respect is something money can’t buy—and it reflects how beloved Jones is in the menswear market. —S.Y.