PARIS — “I’m happy to finally give birth — I feel like it’s been 10 months instead of nine, so I’m way overdue,” said Kris Van Assche, greeting a visitor at the Berluti showroom just days before his debut runway show for a luxury label that is rooted in footwear.
Indeed, it’s been an unusually long gestation period for the former Dior Homme designer, whose arrival at Berluti was confirmed in April 2018. Not that he’s been idle: Van Assche presented his capsule spring collection in October, and has also shown a pre-fall collection in-house.
But having watched Kim Jones at Dior and Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton, his fellow designers within the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton empire, make splashy debuts during Paris Fashion Week: Men’s in June, followed by Hedi Slimane’s coed show for Celine in September, the 42-year-old is understandably eager to finally lay out his vision for the new-look Berluti.
That vision starts, unsurprisingly, with the footwear. Known for his mix of sharp tailoring and sophisticated sportswear, the Belgian designer has revamped Berluti’s classic Alessandro oxford shoe, made from a single piece of patinated Venezia leather, with the addition of sharp angles and gleaming silver hardware.
“If my previous work always
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