Saks Fifth Avenue has managed to snag the early launch of the much-coveted debut collection of Kim Jones for Dior Men.
Although the line will be offered at other stores in early February — including in an installation with some exclusive pieces at Nordstrom Men in New York and Seattle — Saks has secured the early retail exclusive for the line. The collection has already launched at Dior’s stores, including the eight in the U.S. that carry men’s wear.
Saks will be carrying the full collection of ready-to-wear, sneakers and accessories embellished with the brand’s signature bee logo that has been reimagined by street artist Kaws.
The summer collection will be available at Saks’ New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston and Toronto stores on Jan. 16, two weeks ahead of other retailers. It will not be available online at Saks but is being sold on the Dior e-commerce site.
Product pricing will range from $490 for a Kaws bee T-shirt to $5,900 for a crystal Kaws bee denim jacket.
Saks will devote the center six windows at its Fifth Avenue flagship to the launch from Jan. 16 to 30. They will feature Kaws’ designs, including the bee motif as well as his BFF character made of thousands of flowers.
The Dior shop at the New York flagship will also be updated for the launch and include a Kaws motif. There will also be a pop-up shop on the atrium of the store. “It’s going to be a big takeover for men’s,” said Louis DiGiacomo, Saks’ chief men’s merchant.
DiGiacomo said the Saks team was at Jones’ inaugural show and was impressed with the “amazing energy” of the collection as well as the runway extravaganza. “We have a strong strategic partnership with Dior and wanted to support Kim Jones, so we worked together on how we could make this super big.”
He said he believes the Jones-designed line adds a dimension to the men’s market by infusing “modern tailoring with luxe ath-leisurewear. That’s what makes it different. It elevates the brand.”
Last March, Jones, previously men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton, was named to succeed Kris Van Assche as the house’s artistic director of rtw and accessory collections. His first show was in June.
With his streetwear credibility, 544,000 Instagram followers and celebrity friends, Jones shook up the status quo at Dior Men, whose image had remained loyal to the slim tailoring pioneered by Hedi Slimane and continued by Van Assche, who had been Slimane’s underling before rising to the top design post in 2007.
Renaud de Lesquen, president and chief executive officer of Christian Dior North America, said the collection was actually pre-launched at the company’s stores in the U.S. last week and the reaction has been “amazing, breathtaking. It shows the great potential for Dior Men.” He said the rtw, the capsules, the sweatshirts, T-shirts and sportswear are among the most popular items so far, and the sneakers are “flying. We can’t keep them in stores.” Another popular seller is the saddle bag that Jones reinterpreted for men that de Lesquen said is attracting women as well as men.
“But, this is really just the beginning,” he said. “Now comes Saks.”
He said Dior’s long-standing relationship with the store was the impetus for choosing Saks as the launch partner. “They’re a very important strategic partner for Dior in North America, the U.S. in particular,” he said.
He was especially excited at the prospect of the brand taking over the bank of Fifth Avenue windows. “That’s very significant for us,” he said.