Last month, Raf Simons announced that he would be stepping down from his position as the creative director at Dior. Many have speculated that the departure, which he cited was for "personal reasons," was due to the workload and breakneck speed of the fashion cycle burning out the creative mind behind the collections.
In an interview with Cathy Horyn for System magazine done before his decision to leave was made public, Simons confirms that the limited time to design and stress of the position was a lot for him to handle.
Horyn met with Simons after his Dior Fall/Winter ready-to-wear show and again after his Spring/Summer 2016 presentation.
Simons shares that each year he was presenting six shows and for the fall collection and several others, he only had three short weeks to complete them.
When Horyn asks him if that is enough time to get everything done, he responds, "Technically, yes—the people who make the samples, do the stitching, they can do it. But you have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important. When you try an idea, you look at it and think, Hmm, let’s put it away for a week and think about it later. But that’s never possible when you have only one team working on all the collections."
Simons shares that he always felt there wasn't enough time and he isn't the type of person to do things fast. He further explains to Horyn why that grueling system wouldn't work for him any longer.
"The problem is when you have only one design team and six collections, there is no more thinking time. And I don’t want to do collections where I’m not thinking."
He continues, "In this system, Pieter [Mulier, Simons’ right hand] and I can’t sit together and brainstorm—no time. I have a schedule every day that begins at 10 in the morning and runs through the day, and every, every minute is filled."