The fashion world was caught dead in its tracks today as news spread of Dior’s creative director Raf Simons abrupt departure from the brand.
The announcement made by LVMH this morning was quite unexpected from the designer who joined the fashion conglomerate in April 2012.
“It is after careful and long consideration that I have decided to leave my position as creative director of Christian Dior’s women’s collection,” Simons said in a statement. “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. Christian Dior is an extraordinary company, and it has been an immense privilege to write a few pages of this magnificent book.”
“I want to thank Mr Bernard Arnault for the trust he has put in me, giving me the incredible opportunity to work at this beautiful house surrounded by the most amazing team one could ever dream of. I have also had the chance over the last few years to benefit from the leadership of Sidney Toledano. His thoughtful, heartfelt and inspired management will also remain as one of the most important experiences of my professional career.”
The designer, who joined Dior three and a half years ago, previously held the same position at minimal fashion label Jil Sander. Since taking the helm at the brand, Simon’s has been credited as bringing “a nostaglia for the future,” in his creations with his recent collections being described as having “seemed to leap centuries while they launched current trends”.
Simons’s abrupt departure will most definitely not go unnoticed. In most recent times the industry has been plagued with talk of how difficult it is for brands, especially one as big as Dior, to handle the almost inhuman and sometimes unrealistic demands of the current fashion cycle. Mr Simons was responsible for six Dior collections a year with his Spring 2016 show being his last.
No one has yet been announced as succeeding Simons’s role as of yet but whispers are pointing at Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci and Céline’s Phoebe Philo as strong contenders.