Van Assche, seen above, hosted a party at the Dior men's pop-up store in New York this weekend and told WWD that he and Simons have "never been in the same place at the same time so we never got close. But I hugely admire his work."
Both men are Belgian designers who got famous for their innovative menswear, but Van Assche says that just because he and Simons come from common backgrounds doesn't mean that they have a similar aesthetic.
"I think it’s a bit of a cliché, no?" he said of that idea. He added that Simons's appointment is "great news. Let's just wait and see how he decides to express himself."
Simons was named as John Galliano's successor at Dior in early April. He'd been creative director of Jil Sander since 2005 but was ousted when Sander herself returned as the brand's designer. Van Assche was Hedi Slimane's first assistant at Dior Homme and left to present his first menswear collection in 2005. He was named design director at Dior Homme in 2007.
Photo: Kris Van Assche takes a bow at the Fall 2012 show for his eponymous menswear label.