Cathy Horyn of The New York Times reports the role of artistic director at the Parisian fashion house of Dior will go to Raf Simons. According to the article, the announcement will be made on Wednesday and Simons’ first collection for Dior is set to debut at the fall fashion shows in July.
Since John Galliano was made to part ways with the brand last year for his anti-Semitic remarks, the names of almost every designer has been tossed into the hat to pick up the pieces at Dior.
Marc Jacobs was courted, Alber Elbaz of Lanvin was wooed and Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy was a fleeting suggestion along with others. The irony is in the fact that the list of could-be Dior designers was supposedly considered not only by the company; but by the public who has speculated from the beginning on whom would replace Galliano.
Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH (Dior falls under the LVMH umbrella), has carefully been considering the options with the future of the brand in mind.
Simons was still employed as designer for Jil Sander when talks of leaving for Dior was initiated. According to reports, he was fired shortly after his last show for Sander and it was announced almost immediately after that Jil Sander herself would return to her eponymous brand.
He will face the obvious challenge of adding a personal touch to upcoming collections while preserving the heritage of an established brand. He will also face unique challenges as he transitions from Jil Sander to Dior and from being known as a menswear designer (he still runs his own menswear line) to a designer of women’s haute couture.
Until fashion week debuts the first Raf Simons collection for Dior, what are your thoughts?