Raf Simons quits Dior after 3.5 years
Yesterday afternoon the hottest breaking news in the fashion world was the announcement of Raf Simons quitting his role as a creative director of Christian Dior’s women’s collection. Being somewhat of dropping a bomb for many, for others Simon’s announcement was expected for a while, and only played a role of confirming the rumors. Whether belonging to one or the other group – two things are known and agreed for all – Raf Simons is a huge talent, and a very interesting wind of change is starting to blow in the fashion world.
Seven years before joining Dior company, the Belgium designer spent working for Jil Sander, and simultaneously running his own menswear label. Raf Simons joined Dior in early 2012, and presented his first couture collection for the legendary house in July of that year. He stepped into big shoes of those who ruined the line of womenswear in Dior, including Dior himself, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, and replacing John Galliano, a year after him being dismissed from the house in a wake of his anti-Semitic remarks.
Simon’s first collection for Dior was a triumph, demonstrating the fact that he was more than up to the task of taking over one of the fashion’s most important and prestigious posts. During the three years of being a creative director of Dior, Raf Simons created many remarkable and memorable stories of design, from reinventing the New Look to his Bar jacket tailors, and spring summer 2014 psychedelic greenhouse, and the mountain of delphiniums constructed over the course of a week in the Louvre’s Cour Carrée for his last Spring 2016 show for Dior.
Raf Simons led Dior house to a more modern direction, increasing sales by 60% since 2011, and listing celebrities like Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Watson as the new Dior girls. Dior’s face was changed, together with the ability to keep the old style values of the company, proving again that the codes of the house are timeless, and will always remain the golden rules of style and elegance for women.
In one of his last moves, Simon’s chose the young Israeli model Sofia Mechetner to open his haute couture show and to be the new face of Dior. While Sofia’s young age raised a lot of critique and questions towards the fashion industry as a whole, there was again no doubt – Raf Simons knows what he is doing in every single move.
Simon’s departure is again raising the talks about the almost impossible pressure of the current fashion cycle. Simon’s was creating 6 collections per year in Dior. While an exhausting demanding work might be a reason for Simon’s stepping out, according to few informed industry sources, the separation is amicable on both sides after the designer and the company failed to reach an agreement on a new employment contract.
In an official statement, Simons, 47, added “It is a decision based entirely and equally on my desire to focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand, and the passions that drive me outside my work.”