A lot of fashion houses design for the catwalk and not the street—then you see the clothes on a regular guy and it's a mess. Don't disguise your personality behind labels; impose it on the clothes.
The most embarrassing thing a man can own is a disposable razor. They're for women. And speaking of grooming, there's nothing less flattering than shaved legs.
Wearing a pair of high-tops with a suit deconstructs the look, and that's important. I like the way high-tops and pants act together. It's like the effect of rolled-up sleeves for your trousers. Just make sure the socks match your sneakers, not the pants. If you like black high-tops, wear black socks. White, white.
I don't really think I know a man who wouldn't look good in black. Black is always good. It's the basic.
You can wear a white shirt to work, to dinner, to visit the grandmother, to the opera, on vacation, at the beach. It's the true get-away-with-anything item.
There's definitely an age limit for wearing leather pants, but not for wearing leather jackets. A standout fashion leather jacket can look great on a young guy. And there are a lot of suedes that men can get away with at any age.
Don't just copy an outfit. Look in the mirror and do a reality check. It's all about making the good match. You'll know when something is right. And if you don't, just walk down the street: If people look away from you, then you know you've done something wrong.
When I took over Dior Homme, I was warned. I knew it was going to be tough—but it was worse. In life you need good friends, and at work you need a good team. There's so much drama in life and work that you can easily get lost. You need to keep a little distance from everything.
We've had beefy guys and we've had—well, skinny isn't really the right word, it's more like scary. Now men should be athletic, healthy. Today it's about having a balance in life—having nice clothes, good food, and respecting your body.
My grandmother told me there are two ways of living: You can either survive or you can really make a life. There is eating and there is dining. She would always give that extra little effort, and I still believe that is important—to make things more beautiful makes all the difference.
Kris Van Assche was born in Belgium, lives in Paris, and spends his extra time in Argentina and Brazil, where he not only vacations but casts his runway shows. He suggests that when in Paris you take afternoon tea at Mariage Frères, peruse rare titles at the Comptoir de l'Image bookstore, and shop for high-tops at Zoum. And if you ever hit Carnival in Buenos Aires, check out his favorite club—Cocoliche.