On January 19, Dior unveiled its Winter 2024-2025 Men's collection in a captivating showcase that captured the essence of modern luxury.
The highlights of the show included the debut of Dior men’s couture, featuring ancient, meticulous techniques and textiles that epitomized opulence and sophistication. The amalgamation of classic silhouettes with bold, daring elements showcased the visionary approach of the creative team, led by Dior men’s artistic director Kim Jones, solidifying the fashion house's status as a global trendsetter.
Beyond the runway, the success of Dior's menswear show serves as evidence of the brand's adept navigation of the Chinese market. By incorporating localized livestreaming approaches and leveraging the celebrity influence of brand ambassadors Karry Wang and Arthur Chen, the house amassed an impressive 110 million total views across Chinese online platforms within two hours.
The Winter 2024-2025 Men's collection draws inspiration from ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn and her renowned partner Rudolf Nureyev, presenting a spectacle that seamlessly marries utility with extravagance. Featuring sleek tailoring, stylish shorts, wide-legged suits paired with ballet pump-inspired shoes, and chic side-knotted turbans, each ensemble pays subtle homage to Nureyev, skillfully blurring the lines between masculinity and femininity.
Notably, Jones capitalizes on the preference for business attire among Dior's clientele, modernizing and streamlining its cut. Simultaneously, the house ventures into the realm of men's evening wear, signifying a strategic move to capture a broader male clientele.
For Summer 2024, marking his fifth anniversary at Dior, Jones re-interpreted motifs from four previous Dior designers and gave a sartorial nod to ancient Chinese crafts. Ronghua velvet flowers, a specialist savoir-faire dating back to the Tang dynasty and beloved by the Maison, adorned colorful beanies. The handcrafting of these delicate adornments by Chinese artisans was showcased in a video shared across Dior’s Chinese and international social media channels.
This is not the first time Jones has incorporated Chinese cultural elements for a global fashion audience. During the peak of the Covid-era guochao fervor, Jones, along with American artist Kenny Scharf, drew heavily upon Chinese culture, featuring elements such as the zodiac, jade, seed embroidery, and traditional fan designs in Dior’s Fall 2021 menswear collection.
Like Dior himself, Jones is adept at perpetually reinventing heritage. His Winter 2023-24 Men’s show mined literary and archival references, taking T.S. Eliot’s 1922 poem “The Waste Land” as inspiration to explore the rejuvenation of Dior under Yves Saint Laurent in the 1950s.
Yet Jones is equally comfortable turning the tables on high fashion through light-hearted “new luxury” collabs with eclectic pop artists and designers, such as Air Jordan, Stüssy, Kaws, ERL, and most recently, Otani Workshop.
Released this month, the Dior & Otani Workshop menswear capsule features Japanese ceramist Otani Workshop’s iconic small green monster, Tanilla. Other symbols of the house, such as the Dior logo and the red hue, have been given a playful spin that should appeal to manga-loving younger generations of luxury consumers, particularly in Asia.
Dior’s pioneering approach to localizing activations and embracing new digital platforms in China has been paying off. The French house was the first luxury brand to launch on Duoyin in 2018 and Bilibili in 2020, and it held its first-ever metaverse fashion show in China in 2022 on the Baidu-owned platform XiRang.
The brand maintained its leading position across Chinese social media throughout 2023, consistently ranking as the top overall among fashion and accessories brands in China for the past four quarters, as reported by Re-Hub’s 2023 Compass China Luxury Index. Dior boasts significantly more followers than other luxury brands on both Duoyin and Xiaohongshu, and it closely trails behind fellow LVMH-owned brand Louis Vuitton on Weibo.
Dior gained a head start by pioneering livestreamed fashion shows in China in 2020, inviting Chinese celebrities and KOLs to live rooms to share their commentary. As global travel started to recover, the label restaged its Fall 2023 ready-to-wear collection, which had initially debuted at Paris Fashion Week, at the Sea World Culture and Arts Center in Shenzhen last July.
The strategic decision to host the event in Shenzhen — a city often overlooked for fashion events yet brimming with a hunger for luxury — proved successful. With the help of celebrity endorsements, the show’s livestream on Weibo garnered over 52 million views within 12 hours, and the hashtag “Dior Fall 2023 Ready-to-Wear Shenzhen Show” attracted over 180 million views within two days.
In addition to boosting digital engagement, Dior has consistently fostered cultural connections in China. Its fourth presentation at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in November highlighted this deep relationship with the Chinese market: Not only does Dior draw inspiration from Chinese crafts, but it also sponsors events such as the Shanghai International Film Festival and collaborates with various local artists and architects.
Its recent partnership with Chinese artist Xu Zhen on the "DIOR LADY ART #8” bag also debuted at CIIE, as part of a limited-edition art series inspired by the iconic Lady Dior handbag.
The esteemed house is poised to take greater strides on its fashion-forward trajectory, unveiling its eagerly awaited Fall 2024 fashion show in Hong Kong on March 23. This highly anticipated event is expected to shine a spotlight on the brand's continuous evolution and innovation, solidifying Dior's position as a trailblazing force in the ever-evolving global fashion landscape.
Presented by Dior.