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Designer Kim Jones went from being a teenager with joint custody over one pair of on-sale Jordan 5s with three friends to creating one of the most sought after shoes in the world by bringing together three iconic brands: Nike, Jordan and Dior. To create the Dior X Air Jordan, which dropped mid-pandemic in June of 2020, he took the Jordan 1 silhouette, applied Dior’s leather and Italian techniques and infused it all with Michael Jordan’s personal cool-guy style.
The much-hyped, $2,200 shoe sold out in minutes after being released online. Soon after, the shoes were spotted being resold for as much as $12,000 on StockX.
In this conversation from VOICES 2020, Jones covers everything from ethical consumption to the enduring power of youth and desire.
Young people influence the way Jones thinks about his designs. He invites his friends’ children over to watch them dissect his wardrobe, listening carefully to what they had to say. “Young people are learning they want to buy less, and things that last longer,” Jones said.
Buying vintage, handing things down through generations and luxury all tie together for Jones. “The thing about luxury that I like is it’s clothes that are built to last,” he said. “I care about the world a lot so it’s something I do consider that there’s not much waste. We don’t have tons of stuff left over.”
The streetwear-meets-luxury space has exploded in the last few years. Jones sees it as a mix of comfort and easiness that fit in with modern daily life. His go-to is tailored pants and jackets with knitwear or a jersey piece. “When you’re working quite often, when it’s with your hands it’s easy,” he said.
He advises aspiring designers and other young creatives to think less about status and more about fulfilment. “Never think about the money, think about doing the job. Work hard,” he said. “Don’t think about social media, think about the actual reality. Just get on with it, and ask questions. I ask questions all the time and that’s why I’ve learned so much.”
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