In case you haven’t heard, Raf Simons, Christian Dior’s artistic director of haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections, today announced his exit from the luxury fashion house.
After three-and-a-half years (following the high-profile firing of John Galliano before him), Simons is leaving for “personal reasons”. According to him, he wants to focus on his own label, though a report by WWD states that the involved parties’ failure to come to an agreement on a new employment contract and the designer’s feeling burnt out by the immense workload (six collections a year is no joke, guys) are other factors.
In a statement, Simons said, “Christian Dior is an extraordinary company, and it has been an immense privilege to be allowed to write a few pages of this magnificent book. I want to thank M. 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.”
To say Simons’ decision comes as a surprise is an understatement: Dior has flourished under his helm, seeing a significant increase in sales since 2011, and successfully moved forward and away from the Galliano scandal.
As with any exit, the big question is, “What’s next?” Well, rumours are rife that the creative heads working in brands under LVMH (Dior’s parent company) will be doing some fashion musical chairs. Names like Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson and Céline’s Phoebe Philo are amongst those being thrown around to take over Simons’ spot.
Guess we’ll have to wait till the next fashion season to find out.