Kim Jones Is Leaving Louis Vuitton

Kim Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall ’18 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday.

Jones has been men’s artistic director of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s flagship brand since 2011, parlaying his zest for exotic travel into ultraluxurious collections with understated cool and sly functionality.

“It has been a huge privilege to work with Kim,” said Michael Burke, Vuitton’s chairman and CEO, lauding the designer’s “ability to set trends” along with his talent and determination. “All of us who have been fortunate to work with Kim wish him continued success in his next venture.”

Vuitton has yet to reveal its succession plan for the plum post, which has gained visibility thanks to Vuitton’s mighty show and campaign budgets, Jones’ clutch of celebrity friends and the brand’s high-profile collaborations with the likes of Supreme and British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman. Vuitton described Jones as “the driving force behind some of the maison’s most successful projects and collaborations.”

The development is sure to fuel speculation that Jones is readying himself for a new design challenge — and could potentially trigger a round of musical chairs in menswear, which has not endured as much studio turmoil as womenswear of late.

Versace has held discussions to bring Jones on board, but a deal has yet to surface, and the Italian fashion company has never confirmed the speculation.

His name has also been floated as a contender for Burberry, which is seeking a successor to Christopher Bailey, who is to bid farewell to the British brand at the end of March.

Jones could not immediately be reached for comment.

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