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Kim Jones SS21 collection for Dior takes us to the African continent. The relationship that unites them goes back to the designer’s childhood. His father, a hydrogeologist, studied the groundwater of Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana and Ghana, which imbued the young Jones with the diversity of Africa. Now, years later, Dior’s creative director is reunited with Ghana, his father’s favourite country, thanks to portrait painter Amoako Boafo. The SS21 collection depicts the love for the continent inherited by his father.
For some time now, Kim Jones (@mrkimjones) has been looking for an African artist with whom she can collaborate, thus uniting culture, art and haute couture. She came across Boafo’s work at Art Báselo in Miami in 2019. Fascinated by his pieces, he made a pilgrimage to the artist’s studio in Accra. In the Ghanaian capital he found what he was looking for, a painting of a young man with an ivy print shirt, and creativity took off.
The collaboration flowed from the beginning between the two. The Ghanaian, Amoako Boafo is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable of the French house. The ivy shirt was positioned as the central theme of Dior’s new SS21 collection. From it came everything else. Kim Jones challenged the firm’s workshops to reproduce the artist’s piece on high quality fabrics. Also, leather was included, which raises the stakes of craftsmanship and finishing.
The atmosphere surrounding the new proposal is very elegant. The silhouettes are slender and accentuated by sashes. Toile de jouy fabrics have also been used, a type of cotton printed only on the front and a delicate lace. The designs have been fervently revised by Jones, taking care of even the smallest details. The pandemic caused the creative director to be immersed in the collection one hundred percent.
The pieces will not be able to be enjoyed physically, so they will be presented at the Paris Digital Fashion Week. Kim and Amoako were joined by filmmaker Chris Cunningham and photographer Jackie Nickerson. Cunningham earned a place in pop culture history with videos by Björk or Madonna. On the other hand, Nickerson fits in perfectly with the collection because of her extensive experience with the southern African farm workers she portrayed.
You can see the full film by clicking here.
The four creatives were coordinated remotely. First Boafo filmed his family and friends with the Dior pieces in Accra. Then Cunningham edited the footage in Los Angeles and added a soundscape. Finally, Nickerson added a poetic interpretation to the collection. Despite the confinement, the work directed by Kim Jones has been impeccable. Moreover, it has been a personal work for the designer as it has coincided with the death of his father, whom he hopes to take to Ghana, his favourite place in the world, so that he can rest.
The French company wanted to ensure that the collection would leave a lasting legacy, which is why it is going to support Boafo’s new foundation that promotes young artists in Accra. Below, you can enjoy some of the pieces from Dior SS21.