Acclaimed Designer Raf Simons A Top Contender for Potential Dior Replacement


As reported in Women’s Wear Daily, Christian Dior is in final negotiations with renowned Belgium-born designer Raf Simons–creative director of Milan-based Jil Sander since 2005, to take over as creative director of couture house Christian Dior. This is in the wake of the breakdown in discussions with fashion-star Marc Jacobs, creative director of LVMH’s hallmark brand–Louis Vuitton, to take the job.

Specific details–including a break in contract with Jil Sander, must be finalized before a deal with Simons is made to be Dior’s next couturier.

Another complication is a necessary delay in showcasing Simons’ work for the house–which would bypass January couture and probably March F-W 2012 ready-to-wear.

Dior’s studio, under Bill Gaytten’s direction, has been producing couture and ready-to-wear collections since March 2011, when John Galliano was forced to leave after his anti-Semitic remarks.

Simons recent work might presage that he would take the house in an entirely new modernist and minimalist direction, even in the wake of his recent showing of mid-century couture with more embellishments and decorative touches. This would be in contrast to Galliano’s earlier work at Dior–although, to be fair, Galliano reined in his “pomp and circumstance” to focus on salable items–such as the Dior jacket–in recent seasons.

Simons has been on the radar at LVMH, parent company of Dior, since Michael Kors left Celine in 2004. LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault has recommended him for various positions in the past.

An honoree at Fashion Group International’s Night of the Stars in New York earlier this year, Simons has garnered positive raves and reviews from media and no doubt will continue to shine, whether at Dior, Jil Sander or another house.

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