Kris van Assche
The story of Belgian designer Kris Van Assche, in the most obvious way, is defined by the story of his former boss, Hedi Slimane. Van Assche grew up in the town of Londerzeel, and after graduating from the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1998, he got an internship with Slimane, who was then designing for Yves Saint Laurent. When Slimane decamped to head up meanswear at Dior two years later, Van Assche followed, before leaving Dior in 2004 to start his own label. But after Slimane’s wildly influential run at Dior came to an end in 2007, Van Assche was summoned once again to try to fill the very slim pants of a man whose work at the label helped define a global menswear trend built around teenage-sexy, rock ’n’ roll chic.
RICK OWENS: The last time we saw each other was at my club [Spotlight Club]. How did you like the show? [Owens had invited the drag queen Christeene.]
KRIS VAN ASSCHE: Usually when you get to see people’s private parts, it’s because you asked, right?
OWENS: My concern was that they would tone it down and be less extreme, so from the very first second they got onstage, I was—
VAN ASSCHE: They didn’t tone it down, did they?
OWENS: [laughs] So, now that I have you: Did you always want to be a designer?
VAN ASSCHE: Ever since I realized that clothes just don’t drop out of the closet and that somebody was deciding what I would actually wear. I must have been around 10 or 12 when I started questioning things like, Why should somebody else decide what I’m going to wear? And I’m an only child, and I was born in this small town.
OWENS: Did your parents dress you? Was that something you reacted to?
VAN ASSCHE: Yeah, of course. My parents are really nice, but they’re very conservative. They’re like the most normal people in the world. And they had one big definition for life, which was: “Don’t get noticed. Be normal, that’s weird enough.” And that just didn’t work for me.
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Source & Text: www.interviewmagazine.com