Pin It
Raf Simons at Christian Dior SS16

In a surprise move, Raf Simons leaves Dior

This is one we didn’t see coming

In a surprise move, designer Raf Simons has announced that he will be leaving Christian Dior, stepping down from his position of creative director – a post which he has held since 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, explaining his rationale. “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.”

Simons joined Dior three and a half years ago, after a seven-year stint at minimal fashion label Jil Sander. Since taking the helm, he’s been credited as bringing unadulterated modernism to the house, while deeply respecting the codes its founder – Monsieur Christian Dior himself – installed: from its trademark silhouette, to its femininity, romance and extravagance. His SS16 collection, which was unveiled at Paris Fashion Week last month, was his last for the house.

“The reason I came to Dior was because it was the biggest possible challenge,” Simons said in a recent Dazed interview. “I wanted to see how my world could connect to that house, and the women that surround it. For me, it’s a big challenge to go from Jil Sander, a brand seen as being intellectual or conceptual. But there was something liberating about the idea that you could focus on women and beauty.”

As for who will succeed Simons, nothing yet has been revealed. That said, The Cut’s critic-at-large Cathy Horyn has already named Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci and Céline’s Phoebe Philo as favourites to take over the reins.

Watch a clip from Frédéric Tcheng’s 2014 biopic Dior and I below: