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Raf Simons Announces His Departure From Dior

Thu, October 22, 2015 2:20pm EDT by Katrina Mitzeliotis Add first Comment
raf simons leaving dior

After three and a half years at the fashion house, Raf Simons is saying goodbye to Dior — but who will fill his shoes?

Raf Simons, 47, artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections at Dior, has decided to vacate his position after three and a half years with the French fashion house.

Raf was praised for bringing a more modern approach to the iconic fashion house while at the helm of the label, however, he said he “reached this decision for personal reasons,” according to our sister publication, WWD. Informed industry sources told the publication that while Raf is leaving amicably, both sides failed to reach an agreement regarding Raf’s new contract.

“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,” Raf 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 elaborate Spring/Summer 2016 collection, presented beneath an exquisite floral hillock in a courtyard at the Louvre on Oct. 2, will be his last for the brand. There’s been no word on Raf’s next step, however, there has been speculation that the designer may have to wait out a non-compete, which would stop him from immediately joining another fashion house.

The news marks the second surprise shakeup at Dior in the last five years. Raf’s decision comes after designer John Galliano was fired from the fashion house, (after a 15-year tenure), in 2011 after his anti=Semitic outburst in a Paris cafe. Raf was recruited following the incident and officially came on board in April 2012.

When Raf came on board, he marked the brand’s sixth couturier, (a list that also includes Yves Saint Laurent and Gianfranco Ferré). Raf spent seven successful years at Jill Sander in Milan before joining Dior.

So, who will fill Raf’s shoes? A successor hasn’t been named, but we could expect to see a lot of juggling within the international fashion community, as Dior is one of the most iconic Parisian fashion houses.

Were you surprised by the news?

Katrina Mitzeliotis