Kris Van Assche will succeed Hedi Slimane as creative director of Dior Homme. The Belgian designer, who previously worked at the label before launching his own line in 2005, has been chosen by LVMH for his comprehensive knowledge of the company and reputation for fine tailoring. As reported yesterday, contract negotiations between Slimane and Dior had been proving difficult since last June - predominantly because Slimane was keen to start his own label, but reluctant to give up complete control of his trademark. Friction between both parties was said to be filtering down into the rest of the company, and Dior yesterday decided to cut all ties with the designer. The brand is looking to change the direction of its menswear but keen to keep a sense of heritage within future collections. The move, which is bound to shock many in the fashion industry, smacks of the surprising splits between Jil Sander and Helmut Lang, who both left their namesake houses in 2004 and 2005 respectively.