Today, LVMH announced Kris Van Assche, formerly of Dior Homme, will be in charge of shoes, leather goods, ready-to-wear and accessories collections for Berluti. In the announcement LVMH CEO Antoine Arnault welcomed Van Assche to the family.
I am delighted to welcome Kris Van Assche to Berluti. I have known him for several years, have always admired his work at Dior Homme and I am looking forward to working with him.
We are excited as well, hiring Van Assche signals the brand maybe ready to take risks and stop playing it safe. Berluti is a well respected brand known for their integrity when it comes to craftsmanship but they lean heavily on the conservative side of fashion. The brand, which started out as a shoe company from Italy, is more than a century old and prides itself on creating designs for the refined gentleman, but they are stuck on traditional ideals of refinement instead of defining it with the new generation. In 2016 Berluti branched out with a small capsule collection of women’s shoes, but they never repeated the offering, and outside of a few experimental designs for the Los Angeles Ballet, Berluti tends to stick to old patterns.
Truthfully, the selection of Kris Van Assche as Berluti’s new creative director is surprising, but a pleasant one. Assche is one of the first designers to see the vision of the hip hop generation as a key demographic for refined design and he challenged stereotypes of what a refined man looks like. In 2017 he invited A$AP Rocky to become the face of Dior Homme, it is still one of their most successful campaigns outside of Robert Pattinson who is also an excellent match.
Both A$AP Rocky and Robert Pattinson, who are self-made working men, brought a genuine sense of style to Dior designs and for the first time a new generation was able to see themselves in the clothes.
For this new partnership with Berluti to work Kris Van Assche must have the freedom to stretch the boundaries of Berluti’s ideals when it comes to a refined man, right now the brand’s mindset is too limited. From a fashion perspective refinement is about style, purity and the finish of a man and if these are the guiding principles there is room for Berluti to grow. Personally, I’d like to see values such as authenticity and self-love added to the Berluti brand, it will push them even further.
On the appointment Kris Van Assche said,
I have always wanted to build bridges between the savoir-faire, the heritage of a house and my clear-cut contemporary vision. Antoine Arnault spoke to me of his ambitions for Berluti and it is with great pleasure that I accept this new challenge which fits perfectly with my own will and vision. I would also like to thank Mr Bernard Arnault for his renewed confidence.
Kris Van Assche
Kris Van Assche will present his first collection during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in January 2019.