On Wednesday morning, Fendi announced it had hired Kim Jones — currently creative director of Dior Homme — to replace Karl Lagerfeld, who died last year, as artistic director of haute couture, ready-to-wear and fur collections for women.
Since Lagerfeld's passing in 2019, Silvia Venturini Fendi had taken up that mantle, overseeing all of the design for the Italian fashion house founded by her grandparents in 1925. (Before that, she headed up its accessories, menswear and children departments.) According to the New York Times, Jones's hire is "the culmination of more than than a year of discussions and apparent soul-searching" from LVMH, which owns Fendi. Venturini Fendi will stay on, in charge of accessories and men's collections.
Jones will keep his job at Dior Homme, which is also owned by LVMH. Of the appointment, Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer at the luxury conglomerate, said in a statement: "Kim Jones is a great talent and since joining, he has continuously proven his ability to adapt to the codes and heritage of the LVMH houses while revisiting them with great modernity and audacity. At Fendi, I am convinced that his vision and passion will highly contribute to the success of the women's collections."
Though he is known primarily for his work in menswear, especially at Dior and Louis Vuitton, Jones has developed a massive following globally, with famous fans ranging from Naomi Campbell and Bella Hadid to J. Balvin and David Beckham. (Per WWD, he's wanted to make the move into womenswear "for some time.") Most recently, the British designer was nominated for Global Men's Designer of the Year at the 2020 CFDA Awards.
"I would like to profoundly thank Monsieur Arnault, [Dior CEO] Pietro Beccari, [Fendi CEO] Serge Brunschwig and Silvia Venturini Fendi for this incredible opportunity," Jones said, in a statement. "Working across two such prestigious houses is a true honor as a designer and ton be able to join the house of Fendi as well as continuing my work at Dior Men's is a huge privilege."
Jones's first collection for the brand will debut in February during Milan Fashion Week, for Fall 2021.