The Dior Common Thread podcast series represents a fascinating new avenue for exploring the collaborations initiated by Kim Jones since his arrival at Dior. Each episode will present a compelling encounter with one of the inspiring figures who have participated in his endlessly original reinventions.
In conversation with Ed Tang, each recounts their unique experience and shares their singular vision, providing an immersive new window into the world of Dior Men.
Creative daring drives the House’s momentum today more than ever, and the Dior Common Thread podcast series explores the collaborations initiated by Kim Jones. For this episode, Ed Tang speaks with Sammy Jay, the rare book specialist who, over the past two years, has been seeking out treasures for the Artistic Director’s astonishing personal library, which includes a significant number of volumes corresponding to his passions - Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, as well as the Beat Generation.
Sammy Jay hails from Oxford, and studied English literature at Christ Church, one of the prestigious colleges that compose the city’s centuries-old university. He has described literature as an early and enduring obsession. After his degree, and while contemplating his career options, he was perusing the shelves in his late grandfather’s house one day when he came across a first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, dedicated by the author to Lord Byron. A great fan of the Romantics, like his grandfather, for him was an exceptional find, and the first step in his journey to becoming a book dealer.
Jay is a specialist and buyer at Peter Harrington, one of the United Kingdom’s preeminent references in first editions and rarities. Kim Jones first came to him in search of additions to his extensive array of Bloomsbury Group authors, and their relationship took off from there. His library has also melded into his work for Dior, and his literary interests have shaped the subject matter for his menswear collections for the House. The Fall 2022 collection was inspired by Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation, and in conjunction with the show held in London, Jay was invited to curate a special on-site exhibition of books and manuscripts titled ‘Nowhere to go but everywhere’, most belonging to Kim Jones himself.
As Ed Tang notes, books are magical and they play a unique role in our lives, a source of private passion and aesthetic objects in their own right. As Jay says, they inspire a ‘gentle madness’ in collectors and have a vast range, from the heights of glamour and intellectual enquiry to the grittiest subject matter. Sammy Jay and Kim Jones have such a fruitful relationship precisely because, even though each has his own areas of interest within the world of books, each also gets inspiration from the other’s tastes.