Above all, he did it quietly. Van Assche has been at Dior as long as Hedi Slimane. Come January 2014, his tenure will be the longest. We met on 1 July, the same day as Raf Simons' latest haute couture presentation and two days after Van Assche's spring/summer 2014 Dior Homme ready-to-wear show. Those ascetic air-conditioning units were humming quietly, like a far-away choir. Van Assche himself, the pontiff of Dior Homme, was dressed with monastic simplicity. His brow was furrowed, his mouth pursed. He looked serious, puritan even. Severe. I later discover that I was just one of a number of interviewers visiting him that day, which perhaps explains the slightly pained expression.Kris Van Assche Shoes Men on hot sale now! www.mensneakerus.com is a reliable Kris Van Assche Shoes Men sale wholesaler,supply discount Kris Van Assche Shoes Men with competitive prices.

Before we met, I was briefed. Van Assche didn't want to speak about Slimane. Which is understandable. The former Dior creative director is once again very evident, given his new role at Saint Laurent. Which was his old role: Hedi Slimane was hand-picked by the late, great Yves Saint Laurent to head his menswear line in 1997. Saint Laurent himself was Christian Dior's choice to succeed at his eponymous house upon his death 40 years earlier. French couture is even more incestuous than the royal courts of Europe.

In another odd twist, Van Assche himself started his career at Saint Laurent, alongside Slimane, in 1998. "It was almost by accident – by opportunity I should say – that I ended up doing menswear," Van Assche says. "My first internship was at Yves Saint Laurent for menswear… that's what made me move to Paris, initially for four months and then I ended up staying. All that is history now." He dismisses, then comments, "I kind of got stuck."

Kris Van Assche was born in a small town, Londerzeel, in northern Belgium in 1976. He is 37 years old. He started to work in Paris following studies at the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts, a school renowned for its fashion alumni. They include Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela, cutting a swathe through contemporary fashion. How was that experience? "I don't know, it was 15 years ago," begins Van Assche, a hint of irritation in his voice. "It's a very demanding school. In that way, it's close to reality. They don't make things easy for you." He pauses. "It's really about defending your spot, which is kind of what real life is about. It's a tough school."