Editors’ letter

If there was one invaluable thing that Dior Men cover star Kim Jones was taught by his first boss Michael Kopelman, it was the importance of ‘family’.

As a member of the late-1980s International Stüssy Tribe (a loose global network of like-minded individuals bound by a love of streetwear and music), Kopelman understood that embracing other cultures, perspectives and tastes would create fertile ground for a globally appealing commercial venture. Good for business, good for fun.

Twenty years on, Kim Jones brought his own family along for an outing to Christian Dior’s childhood home. As Juergen Teller’s photographs testify, his is a tribe that includes Korean jewellery impresario Yoon Ahn, Chicago-born, California-raised Matthew Williams of Alyx, and renowned British milliner Stephen Jones. To paraphrase Kim in the accompanying interview: ‘I respect what they all do. I didn’t want to copy them. So I bought them on-board. I created a family.’

Interestingly, it’s not the first fashion family of which Stephen Jones has been a member. The personable and highly talented milliner (look at the exquisite headpiece on page 83 that he spontaneously fashioned using Dior’s garden foliage) was part of the chaotic punky family formed around a squat in London’s Warren Street in the early 1980s. It was a scene that birthed the likes of Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark and Boy George, as well as Stevie Stewart and David Holah, the duo behind the legendary BodyMap label (page 264), who for a heady decade redefined fashion, throwing it headlong into a new world that merged gender, ethnicity, age, and body size – a catwalk family that Stephen Jones describes as ‘a fashion label, a figure of speech, a movement’.

Which isn’t a bad way to describe Telfar, in many respects the spiritual kids of BodyMap. For over a decade, New York designer Telfar Clemens and his family of artists, filmmakers and creative spirits (page 122) have been happily exploring and mining the American fashion dream, unconsciously embodying ‘diversity’, ‘community’ and the ‘non-binary’ long before those terms became slogans. Today, the industry – System included – has finally caught on.

We’re making up for lost (family) time.

Taken from System No. 12.