Kris Van Assches, the Belgian designer who has been the artistic director of Dior since 2007, has just announced that he need a break and will take some distance to think on how he could best develop his brand in the future. In the meantimes he will focus on Dior, “while awaiting the right project for his label”. He will thus be one of the absent at the next collection in Paris.
A graduate of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Van Assche left his native Belgium to move to Paris in 1998. He launched his own label in 2005, after working in the studios Yves Saint Laurent and Dior Homme. Between 2008 and 2010, his brand offered products for both men and women, before it turned solely to the latter. It was distributed in 130 multibrand stores in over thirty countries, as well as in its Parisian monobrand store on 16 rue Saint Roch (1st arrondissement), a few steps from rue Saint-Honoré.
Several regular and well-chosen collaborations for the likes of Eastpak, Misericordia and Lee allowed the designer to increase his fame. But this was apparently not enough for the brand Kris Van Assche, which presented itself as “both fashionable and wearable”, to survive in an increasingly competitive fashion market. Times are tough for independent designers.
The former model went through studying philosophy, launched its own brand in 2011 and installed her fashion house in Moscow.
She has developed a sophisticated Haute Couture style though quite retro. She probably is the most promising Russian fashion designer. Her origins are her trademark. She draws her inspiration from the russian culture, mixing ancestral traditions and the newest inspirations from Soviet Union, which sweetened her childhood with at the forefront the influence of her grandmother who was recognised for her very occidental glamourous chic style.
She rewrites through his creations, the great Russian history highlighting the outstanding work of the craftpeople of the region as well as the disappearing traditional skills and know-how.
The company is closely focused on the Haute Couture activity which has been increasing from 5 to over 100 employees in a few years whereas many celebrities from Natalia Vodianova to Dita von Teese have been seduced by the dresses of the house.