In a Big Country


By Dustin Lance Black

Filmmaker Dustin Lance Black talks with designer Kim Jones about “Vuittonizing” Texas for his spring 2014 menswear collection.

Photo credits: Scott halleran/Getty Images (Welcome to Marfa),  Ralph
Mecke/Louis Vuitton Malletier (Kim Jones), courtesy of Kim Jones (Boots)

Dustin Lance Black: How did you end up picking Austin as the inspiration for your collection?
Kim Jones: I knew it had a great vintage scene, and I was thinking about an American road trip for a Vuitton collection, so we went all the way from New Orleans to Las Vegas, and [Austin] was the place that I really loved. There were great things to see and buy, and the food was good. It felt a bit like San Francisco — but in Texas. I met so many cool people in Austin, just going to stores and sitting in restaurants, and everyone was just, like, doing something, you know? They were doing art or making music and were really progressive.


Did you end up going to any of the food trucks?
I went to a Caribbean one, because I love jerk chicken.

I was there for three days a month or so ago. I brought the guy I was dating, an athlete, and by the end of the weekend, he and I had both gained five pounds. I’m really curious what designs spring from Austin.
When I think of travel, I think of the golden jet age of the ’50s and ’60s, when it was very glamorous to get on a plane. For us, there was a good vintage resource there. [We looked at] really authentic American things and doing twists on them. I call it “Vuittonizing” stuff, taking a bandana and making it into a Louis Vuitton bandana. Sort of a pop artsy way of working. We’d be taking photos or going shopping, looking at how things were made in that age and how we could bring that forward to make a luxurious product. We [also] went to Marfa, which is really incredible, but it felt very scary getting there, because we got lost. And then, when you get to the border police, you don’t get cell reception.

You’re in Paris now right?
Yeah. I work here and then I live in London and I have a place in both. I love Paris. It’s very quiet and calm. And in London, it’s about seeing things and seeing people. You can do so many things in a day. I love that you can walk. I love all the parks. I’m going to go to Portland in the next month for the first time, so I’m looking forward to seeing that.

It’s really beautiful. Gus Van Sant, who I did Milk with, has a place out there on a river and it’s just so incredibly peaceful.
I watched Milk a while ago, which I love — I was thinking about your thought process. Writing is something that I’m terrible at. I’m a designer. I’m much more visual in the way I think.