The Belgian native designed cool kicks as part of his eponymous line before shutting it down in 2015. Van Assche is now focused on his role as Dior’s men’s artistic director, but he’s still infusing his own aesthetic into the storied French fashion house.
Van Assche fans will appreciate his latest spring ’17 sneakers, which are made in Naples, Italy, using a process that takes four days to make a single pair. The high-top sneakers look to the past by using the Prince of Wales motif used by Christian Dior in his first collection.
The leather upper is made with 34 pieces of leather, and once it is assembled, a craftsman uses a small paintbrush to add splashes of red, blue, yellow, black and white water-based paint. This allows each sneaker to have a unique look. Finally, the craftsman will apply a transparent protective paint, which takes about two days to dry.
The use of paint is a nod to Christian Dior’s love of painting, but it’s also evidence of Van Assche’s ability to bring his personal style to high fashion. After completing his studies at Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium, Van Assche became Hedi Slimane’s assistant at Yves Saint Laurent and then followed Slimane when he departed for Dior. Van Assche has been Dior Homme’s artistic director since 2007.
Watch the sneakers being made below.