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Raf Simons is leaving Calvin Klein

The Belgian designer exits the iconic American label with immediate effect

Raf Simons’ time at Calvin Klein has come to an end, as it was announced last night the Belgian iconoclast would be leaving his position as the label’s chief creative officer.

In an article published by The Business of Fashion, it was reported Simons is set to exit the iconic American house with immediate effect, eight months before his contract is due to come to an end, and that the label will no longer stage a runway show in February.

"Both parties have amicably decided to part ways after Calvin Klein Inc. decided on a new brand direction which differs from Simons’ creative vision," the company said in a statement. As yet, nothing has been released by Simons’ representatives.

Simons was appointed in his role at CK back in 2016 and made his NYFW debut at the helm of the house for AW17, with the newly-named 205W39NYC high-fashion line set to reinstate the label as a force to be reckoned with within the industry.

As with his own label, the designer drew inspiration from youth culture and radically subverted American archetypes with each subsequent offering. Exploring the dark side of the USA, during his tenure Simons referenced the space race of the 1950s and 60s, cult horror movies including Carrre, Psycho, and Friday the 13th, and, most recently, Steven Spielberg’s 1975 cult classic JAWS.

He also reinvigorated the label’s denim and underwear lines with an ongoing partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation, and teamed up with long-time collaborator, photographer Willy Vanderperre, to create campaigns featuring the likes of Millie Bobby Brown, A$AP Rocky, and the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan.

While Simons’ work at Calvin Klein won him rave reviews from the industry, his work had less of an impact commercially. Following his departure, the label will pull back on its high-fashion output and focus on targeting a more mainstream audience.

Aside from concentrating on his own eponymous label, what’s next for Simons is, for now, unclear – what we do know, however, is that the NYFW schedule just got a little bit less bright. Raf, You’ll be missed.