In an unexpected turn of events, Raf Simons announced his decision to step away from Christian Dior.
In a statement the 47-year old Belgian designer said: “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. 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.”
Although short and sweet, Raf Simons’ tenure at Dior will never be forgotten. With his distinct vision, he modernized the classic Dior style by indulging in futuristic and minimalist designs. His signature sportswear and asymmetrical shapes departed from the refined lady-like look established under John Galliano.
An avid art lover, Simons drew inspiration for prints and shows from modern artists and used dynamic, young celebrities in ad campaigns such as Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence, and most recently Rhiana.
According to WWD, “It’s understood that creative scope in a sprawling and complex organization, along with Simons’ wish to have a more balanced personal life, were among the divisive issues…Sources said talks recently reached a stalemate, with ‘sadness’ on both sides that a compromise could not be reached.”
It is unclear who will replace Simons but, as arguably the second most powerful fashion house in France, Dior will surely command a Creative Director shuffle in the coming weeks. One thing is for sure, though, we miss you already Raf. ■