Kim Jones has brought Dior Men to electric acclaim. He now wields his influence again by challenging the status quo with Ghanaian finger artist Amoako Boafo for the Dior Men’s Summer 2021 collection
When Gallerist Mera Rubell first introduced Kim Jones to Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo, it felt like a moment of destined serendipity. Enjoying a nomadic childhood across Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana, the irrepressible Jones loved Boafo’s work and sought a collaboration with the Ghanaian long before his finger-paintings became the talk of the contemporary art world.
Fusing Art With Fashion
With Jones’ own links to the African continent, fusing Boafo’s art with Dior couture felt intimate, intelligent and, dare we say, natural. Even the vagaries of a raging global pandemic, which meant that Jones would work from a distance out of Notting Hill in the UK while collaborating with Dior’s ateliers in France, would take none of the wind out of his creative sails: The Dior Men’s Summer 2021 collection is simultaneously au courant yet classically elegant.
Continuing a legacy of artistic collaborations during Jones’ tenure at Dior: Portrait of an Artist, the brand’s Summer 2021 collection, joins a series of high-profile collaborations with famous luminaries from the art industry: Daniel Arsham, Hajime Sorayama, and Shawn Stussy, to name a few.
What Amoako Boafo adds is nuance to the voice of Dior menswear with the texture and tone of a globalist perspective. Something which Jones handles with remarkable deftness and panache as opposed to the recent slew of botched (some say lazy) pop cultural attempts at the nebulous concept of “representation”.
It is a real coup for men’s fashion that Jones takes great care in weaving African leitmotifs into Dior’s latest menswear collection rather than merely adopting them.
The latest Dior Men’s Summer 2021 collection pays homage to the Ghana-born, Vienna-based painter, whose vivid portraits of African ‘blackness’ play against a backdrop of high contrast, if not outright neon palettes.
The silhouettes are signature Jones – a mix of fitted streetwear-inspired couture tailoring with standout garments courtesy of the artisans at the Dior ateliers. In a feat of haute couture rarely seen on menswear, Dior craftsmen managed to replicate Boafo’s paintings via embroidery, rendering the artist’s rich finger-painted textures onto the garments.
What results is a collection that is supple, light and yet remarkably tactile.