More than two years after he was named CK's chief creative officer, the Belgian designer has exited the American brand eight months before the end of his contract.
"Both parties have amicably decided to part ways after Calvin Klein Inc. decided on a new brand direction which differs from Simons’ creative vision," CK said in a statement to Business of Fashion.
Though Simons' went on to earn multiple accolades for the brand, including three CFDA honors for womens- and menswear, there were reports that the designer's acclaimed work wasn't garnering high profits. Emanuel Chirico, the chairman and CEO of CK’s parent company PVH Corp, expressed his dissatisfaction with sales during a quarterly results call last month.
"While many of the product categories performed well, we are disappointed by the lack of return on our investments in our Calvin Klein 205 W39 NYC halo business and believe that some of the CALVIN KLEIN JEANS relaunched product was too elevated and did not sell through as well as we planned," he said. "As we move into 2019, we believe the consumer will increasingly feel more connected to the brand as we offer a more commercial product and marketing experience to capture the long-term opportunity for our Calvin Klein business."
There is no information on a possible replacement for Raf. Stay tuned as more information becomes available.
Since launching his namesake label more than two decades ago, Raf has become one of the most revered designers in the fashion industry, leading fashion houses Jil Sander and Dior, as well as collaborating with Adidas, Asics, Fred Perry, Ruby Sterling, and more. The 50-year-old has also made a mark within the hip-hop realm, receiving co-signs from Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Big Sean, and, of course ASAP Rocky.
"You know when Raf came to CALVIN it was disruptive. He’s looking at things from this unique place of because he’s European at one of the biggest American brands." Rocky told Complex back in October. "He’s really done some amazing work and the collections are iconic. I work in the same way, you have to disrupt, and not do what is safe and expected. F*ck being normal."