The collection reflects a dialogue between the two participants, a celebration of identity and the power of creativity.
Dior Men’s Artistic Director, Kim Jones collaborates with Ghanaian-born, Vienna-trained artist Amoako Boafo for Dior’s Summer 2021 Collection. The initial idea began when they met at the Rubell Museum in Miami last year, where they found mutual admiration for each other’s work. And through an intimate, all-encompassing and honest cultural conversation, together they created a collection that is a celebration of identity, of the power of creativity, of art’s ability to transport.
Africa has always had special place in Jones’ heart—to him, it is home. He spent his childhood across African countries such as Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana. It’s his source of his formative images of life; a genuine connection, a real passion—its nature, its cultures, its people inspire him. And in reflecting that through clothes, Jones turned to Boafo, an artist who opens windows onto a contemporary Africa, specifically of Accra, Ghana, which has a rich textile history, and transforms his everyday into the extraordinary. Meanwhile, the African continent is a constant, infinite source of inspiration for the house of Dior, which for many years has woven steadfast bonds with artists and artisans from Morocco to Ivory Coast.
Boafo’s celebrated black diaspora portraits are explorations of his own identity and perceptions of blackness—specifically black masculinity. Those artworks are transposed onto garments expressive of the techniques and histories of haute couture, exploring the world, without moving.
Boafo’s artworks are an essential foundation and inspiration; each piece in the collection reflects a collaboration and a dialogue. Many colors presented here are drawn from his vivid, near-surreal hues—fluorescent yellow saturates moiré, alongside blue, coral and green. Prints are drawn from the graphic patterns that characterize his work. There’s a jacquard of paintbrush strokes that is based on a photograph, taken by Jones, of the richly textured canvasses in his studio. In reference to that three dimensionality, surfaces are intricately realized, printed and layered; ribbed knits, incorporating jacquard patterns, have the appearance of a painted canvas. In other pieces, embroideries, knitwear and intarsia literally translate specific works by Boafo to the wearer’s body. Silhouettes are narrow, streamlined, sportswear-influenced yet with the immaculate tailoring that is Dior’s characteristic.
Throughout the process, there’s unanticipated ties that are discovered between the artist and the house of Dior. Boafo’s love of foliate textile reflects Dior’s obsession with gardens and flowers; his bold color palette could be Dior’s. There’s Frenchness underpins every look; marinière stripes, Dior oblique embroidery on tulle, embroideries by Atelier Vermont refer to pieces from Dior’s archive. The hats are Basque berets by Stephen Jones.
In these exceptional times, Dior captivates dialogs between fashion and creation in all its forms, from painting to film. At the crossroads of contemporary art and documentary, the video revealing the Dior Summer 2021 Men’s collection is presented in two parts: A first installment edited by video artist Chris Cunningham with images shot in London and at Amoako Boafo’s studio in Ghana followed by a second unveiling Kim Jones’ creations, directed by Jackie Nickerson.
Dior also commits to highlight and celebrate the work of young artists, a passion passed down by Monsieur Dior himself. The house will lend its support to an art initiative spearheaded in Ghana by Amoako Boafo for the creation of a place of residence for young artists.
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