After graduating from Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the school that trained the Antwerp Six (Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene and Ann Demeulemeester), Martin Margiela, Olivier Rizzo, and Willy Vanderperre, among others, Kris Van Assche moved to Paris, where he worked under Hedi Slimane on what was then Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Homme. Soon after, he followed the designer to Dior Homme, where they worked together closely to pioneer the slim style that became Slimane's trademark. Slimane would stay with the house until 2007, but Van Assche left in 2004 to launch his namesake label, KRISVANASSCHE. He maintains his creative directorship of his eponymous labels but has since returned to Dior Homme, take the reins from Slimane, who now serves as creative director at Saint Laurent, in April of 2007. Known for his minimalist take on design, near-religious attention to details, and often unshakable color palette, Van Assche speaks to his travels, his favorite art, his pets and more …
How would you describe your decorating style?
I think of it as warmly minimal—a very personal mix of '50s furniture, ceramics and lighting (Gino Sarfatti) with more contemporary pieces and photographs.
What is your favorite florist?
A Parisian florist named Odorantes, who specializes in flowers arranged by scent.
Do you have any pets?
Two three-year-old Burmese cats—brother and sister—called Diego and Frida. They make for a wonderful mess with tons of colorful toys all over my apartment.
Who is your favorite artist?
I was very taken with the recent John Chamberlain show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York [pictured below]. The accumulation of all the huge chromatic metal pieces made for a strong impression.
What are your essential grooming products?
I use the Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser by Aēsop and the Dior Homme Dermo System for skin care.
What hotel have you visited recently and loved?
The Hacienda San Angel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It's a monastery transformed into a luxury hotel by an elderly lady who spends all of her free time rescuing abandoned dogs.
What has been your favorite discovery?
Peru. The country's nature is extremely diverse, and in isolated places, women still wear their traditional colorful dresses. It's a truly wonderful culture shock.