admin | Sep 08, 2023
ELLE Style Awards: Gwendoline Christie Accepts Designer Of The Year On Behalf Of Kim Jones

His long-term friend praised the esteemed designer’s ‘undeniable flair’ – and taste in memes – as she accepted the Designer of The Year Award on his behalf

Ingenious British menswear designer Kim Jones, artistic director of Fendi womenswear and haute couture, and currently at the helm of Dior Men, was named Designer Of The Year this evening at the ELLE Style Awards in partnership with Moët & Chandon. With Jones unable to attend, the accolade was accepted on his behalf, by his long-term friend Gwendoline Christie.

Remarking how impressive it is that Jones helms not one but two luxury brands, Christie said: ‘This is a celebration not just of talent and success but of longevity, a rarity in the modern age but particularly in the world of fashion.’ Adding: ‘[He has] a beautiful rarity to create collections that endure, remain startlingly influential and have commercial success.’

‘Our designer is synonymous with modernity – never denying but embracing and reinterpreting tradition,’ she said.

Christie, who joked she has known Jones for ‘a thousand years’ after meeting him at Central St Martins, also spoke to his charm and empathy as an individual, noting his ‘genuine love for the people he works with. He cares for his relationships with friends and collaborators and nurtures them. He’s able to see things people can’t. He’s willing to help you and he actually wants to. He genuinely wants you to be happy.’

Christie couldn’t resist adding a ‘personal thank you for the memes.’ A mark of any great friendship, we’d say.

Ending her touching tribute, Christie expressed: ‘When I think about all the love he shows us, I feel so lucky to call him my friend. We love you. Unfortunately he can’t be here, but I know he’d want to say thank you for all the support and love you show him – and thank you from me too.’

With a career in the fashion industry that spans numerous decades, Jones’s influence and craftsmanship are incomparable and extensive. Prior to ending his seven-year tenure at Louis Vuitton as creative director of menswear in 2018, the Central Saint Martins alum and revered fashion titan spearheaded his own label and led creative at Dunhill.

Ultimately, his vision has redefined menswear and created a positive shift within men’s fashion, earning him praise for overhauling luxury and street-friendly clothing for younger generations, and an OBE for his services to fashion.

In recent years, Jones has had a hand in conceiving earth-shattering collaborations. Joining forces with Air Jordan ushered in one of the most highly anticipated trainer drops in the last decade – and possibly ever.

Uniting with Donatella Versace in 2022 resulted in another culturally significant moment: the lovingly named Fendace line, which was a respective union of labels Versace and Fendi. The partnership was on the lips of every fashion editor, and the campaign starred supermodel royalty, including Naomi Campbell and Kristen McMenamy. Dior Tears, an AW23 release with Denim Tears founder Tremaine Emory, paid homage to Black creatives and artists during the 1950s and 1960s.

Inspiration constantly surrounds Jones, he revealed to ELLE this year. While discussing his latest Fendi couture line, Jones said: ‘When I create a collection, I look at what’s already there first. I put together what’s relevant in the here and now with things that are a part of my life and that I’m interested in,’. Never underestimating the needs of the consumer is crucial too, he explained. ‘I listen to our customers, and think about what they want and need.’ [Source]

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