Dior Men’s creative director, the inimitable Kim Jones, loves a collaboration. His menswear collections for the French maison have long featured partnerships with an enigmatic and eclectic range of artists ranging from Kaws and Raymond Pettibon to Amoako Boafo and, most recently, the American painter Kenny Scharf.
But none have generated as much buzz as his latest. For spring summer ‘22—a collection presented in person at Paris Men’s Fashion Week for the first time in a year and a half—Jones unveiled clothing designed in partnership with the mega rapper Travis Scott. Dubbed the ‘Cactus Jack’ collab, referencing the record label Scott founded, the collection was the fruits of an all-encompassing partnership in which the rapper worked with Jones on all elements of design, from tailoring to embroidery, patternmaking to accessories.
“We wanted it to be Dior with Travis’s element on top,” said Jones in a post-show interview. “Some of the patterns we did were based on the stitching from dresses and suits Dior did when he first came in,” explained Scott. “Some of the stitching would be flat and some of it would be pushed up like embroidery, so we moved that into suits and jackets and patterns.
Referencing the often-cited ‘Paris/Texas’ dichotomy (the latter being Scott’s hometown), the show was presented on a runway evoking the barren, cactus-filled wasteland of the American desert. As for the clothes, earthy brown suede was contrasted against bursts of neon green, while traditional Dior tailoring mixed with staples of streetwear: slouchy silk tracksuit bottoms, varsity jackets, bucket hats, and ubiquitous chunky logoed sneaker.
Scott’s touches were evident everywhere, from the newly-unveiled monogram (interlocking C’s and J’s rather than the usual C’s and D’s, stitched onto baggy sleeveless knits) to the soundtrack: a much-hyped new collaborative track featuring Scott and the rapper Westside Gunn. The whole collection—which predictably broke Instagram—was a reminder of Jones’ uncanny ability to nail the cultural moment, and of the enduring power that comes when artists and designers open their doors to one other.