At the end of the parades fall-winter 2018-2019, in January last, Kris Van Assche was not supposed to leave the artistic direction of Dior Homme, a post he held since the spring of 2007. Or Haider Ackermann letting go of the reins of the claw male Berluti. In favor of a game of musical chairs, in which the fashion industry is becoming customary, the belgian fashion designer, who has considerably expanded the collections of the claw of the avenue Montaigne, and is thus offered to resume the creation of the prestigious shoe brand of LVMH, has diversified into the ready-to-wear since 2012. An unexpected appointment that KVA seized as an opportunity to renew, discover the know-how of the botterie and addressed in the preparation of a dressing from the shoes. He explains in the exclusive Figaro.
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LE FIGARO. – What is it that drew you to the proposal of Antoine Arnault to join the house of Berluti, after eleven years at the head of the man Dior?
Kris VAN ASSCHE. – A part of my answer is in your question! I had 30 years to my arrival at Dior, I have more than 40 today. I still love this house, but I wanted a new challenge, to question myself and get out of my comfort zone.
Why this brand more than any other?
Berluti is the claw male is the most luxury LVMH. The least “street”, too! While these two positions will interfere more and more on the podiums, I want to go against the current and give a different interpretation of that trend through this brand, which is, incidentally, the only group dedicated 100 % to the man. Men’s fashion is always treated as the little sister of the most important economic activity. It’s nice to finally be the main subject!
Model of the capsule collection spring-summer 2019 photographed at the Manifattura Berluti in Ferrara in Italy. BERLUTI
What is your definition of Berluti?
unlike Dior, which is a house of haute couture, built and developed from the style of its founder, Berluti is focused on the product, since the first day. Thus the approach is totally different. In addition, she is the owner of proprietary know-how. It is a magnificent institution for which it is possible to develop a new style and a new silhouette.
You are you deep in the archives until 1895?
To tell the truth, there is only very little because, again, Berluti has long been focused on the shoes, the pieces that you shoes and that you use. The model from which I reworked the logo is one of the archives of the oldest that I have been able to consult. This skinny legacy offers more freedom on the ready-to-wear.
To this day, whether it is a home accessories or ready-to-wear?
It is a house of accessories, which has big ambitions on the ready-to-wear, without lifting the foot on its specialties first. My work focuses on the collections as a whole, starting from his past as a shoemaker. For the capsule soon in shops, I’ve relied on the Alessandro (a moccasin to thin end, flagship model of Berluti, editor’s NOTE), which I reinterpreted in a less formal. And I’ve extended this attitude relax until the clothes. As for the fall-winter of 2019-2020, we can say that it will be fully impregnated with the patina of shoes which have contributed to the reputation of the trademark.
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The style of shoes Berluti should inspire the whole silhouette?
When I met Olga Berluti (the descendant of the founder, editor’s NOTE) to me, she slipped: “The man Berluti is a vagabond deluxe.” In this sentence, I hold the idea of freedom, which is exciting, stimulating. She also told me that, according to her, the notions of luxury and fashion were not incompatible. It is expected that the luxurious products that they are timeless, they fit in the length with a certain degree of neutrality. Gold, shoes, Berluti, have always been different. They have won the hearts of the men who wanted to be noticed in the street. As Olga Berluti, I am convinced that a luxury cultivating a bias of style is possible. This approach rebellious appeals to me. Also, I never put more rules.
“The man Berluti is a vagabond deluxe”
Ms. Berluti she recalled that you were the third artistic director to report to it in ten years?
Say the same for the past six years! No, our meeting was benevolent, intense and moving. It remains strongly committed to the evolution of the claw. Its principle to make the character, via the accessories, has influenced me. I hope that my first parade as it sees fit.
Since your arrival, you have modernized the logo, and signed a campaign with a model very juvenile. The objective is to rejuvenate about?
I did not think of to touch a category of age. I am looking to rejuvenate the mentality, the ways of doing. I reworked classics like the models Andy and Alessandro in a less formal, more casual and more fashion. These versions can be pleasing to a father as his son. I address myself to all the men who cultivate a particular sensitivity.
“I have not changed in passing the door of Berluti, but I have to find anchor points with its know-how and its legacy”
know-how more than secular can they be modernized?
Very early in my journey of discovery of the company, I went to the Manifattura Berluti in Ferrara in Italy. I was grabbed by the traditions, that is home to this place, so modern and sophisticated. The contrast I was amazed. My questions to the artisans, who were accustomed to climb of shoes in the same way since ages, have been able to seem weird, but I had the desire to learn and, little by little, these exchanges have been some very interesting developments. For example, they explained to me the technique of the patina of the color from a base of black leather. I asked them if opposite was a possibility, which has disconcerted. We have discussed, even negotiated, and ultimately, my idea proved to be feasible… The collaborations are currently popular in fashion. But the first of them should not take place between a directorr artistic, and the house that employs him? I have not changed in passing the door of Berluti, but I have to find anchor points with its know-how and its legacy.
The capsule, which happens these days in shops, it is the the of your artistic direction?
This collection has been carried out in the weeks that followed my arrival. Like everyone, I needed time to turn the page. This is also the reason why I’ve got eight months to work on the first show (Friday, Opera Garnier, editor’s NOTE), which will be held this Friday, and find the right tone. This delay, which was falling under the sense of Antoine Arnault is a unheard-of luxury.
do you Consider this post as a new start?
Exactly. And I had really wanted.