In April this year, Kris Van Assche took over the creative helm at the Parisian heritage brand Berluti. Responsible for shoes, leather goods, ready-to-wear and accessories, the Belgian born designer’s first collection will not debut till January next year. Nonetheless, Van Assche has unleashed a new advertising campaign to trumpet the maison’s new direction.

For this first campaign, I wanted to create an image rooted in the maison’s origins and emboss it with my vision,” Van Assche said in a statement.

To communicate his vision for the maison, Assche enlisted the graphic design duo M/M Paris as art directors for the campaign. They were tasked with bringing to reality his new signature: a blank canvas for new beginnings, and at the same time very much engrained in the authentic core of the Berluti brand.

The new logo is based on the embossed letters carved into an antique wooden shoe tree. It was unearthed from the maison’s archives and dates back to 1895, the year Alessandro Berluti established himself as a shoemaker. The letters on the new logo, therefore, feature letters that seem to be eroded by time; thus, stylising the faded accents of the embossed letters into a “clarified emblem for things to come.”

Antoine Arnault, Chief Executive Officer of Berluti, added: “This campaign was thought of, and art-directed by Kris. I relate to it because it speaks of who we are while holding a promise of more to come.

The campaign was photographed by Jamie Hawksworth and styled by Mauricio Nardi. It is designed to evoke a similar sense of transition, to evoke a conversation between the past and the future.

Van Assche selected Berluti’s classic patinated Venezia leather and alligator Alessandro oxford shoe to honour its formative codes. These ‘Alessandro’ shoes in three continuous designs were first created in 1895 and are Berluti’s emblematic lace-up model constructed from a single piece of patinated Venezia leather or patinated alligator. These were captured on contemporary faces symbolising “the undressed reset of the maison under his artistic direction, an energy under construction.

Kris Van Assche was raised in Belgium and trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He founded his eponymous brand, KRISVANASSCHE, in Paris in 2005. He served as Artistic Director of Dior Homme from 2007 to 2018. “Van Assche’s work is characterised by attention to detail, a strong feel for ritual and the exacting depiction of a chic that evokes ‘days gone by.’ … Impelled by a vision of the man who takes the time to “dress up”, Kris Van Assche has embarked on an aesthetic quest, pursuing a new masculinity infused with poetry and authenticity.” – (fashionmodeldirectory.com)

Berluti dates back to Paris in 1895 and has been built by four generations of shoemakers. In 2005, fine leather goods were introduced and, in 2011, a complete clothing collection as well as a bespoke service were available in Paris in its rue de Sèvres store. Berluti has more than 40 stores in all the major cities since 2013.

In Dubai, Berluti stores are located in Dubai Mall’s Shoe District, and in Mall of the Emirates, Fashion Dome.