Raf Simons to Leave Dior

The Belgian designer is leaving the French house. Who will replace Raf?

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In a surprising turn of events, Raf Simons has decided to leave his position as creative director of French fashion house Dior—according to WWD.

"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," said Simons in a statement. Simons goes on to thank CEO of Christian Dior Couture, Sidney Toledano; LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault; and the staff and members of the house of Dior. 

But before you think this was decision that sprung out of behind-the-scenes drama, Simons wants to dispel that notion. "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," said Simons. In fact, as Cathy Horyn reported for The Cut, Toledano and Arnault tried all summer and into the fall to convince Simons to stay onboard at Dior (Simons expressed his intentions to leave privately a few months back).

Considering the hype attached to Simons arrival at Dior, most notably through the documentary Dior and I, the sudden end to his three-and-a-half year position at the head of the storied maison is surprising. 

But for all of the shock this announcement has caused, Horyn notes that Simons was successful, but uncomfortable with the pacing of his work at Dior. Responsible for six shows a year, Simons has previously expressed his frustrations at being unable to let ideas "incubate," telling Horyn in an upcoming System magazine interview: "When you do six shows a year, there’s not enough time for the whole process."

While Simons' and Dior's respective fates are still shrouded in uncertainty, according to WWD, Calvin Klein may have have courted the Belgian designer for his modern, minimalist designs. As far as who will replace Simons at Dior, Givenchy (and Kardashian favorite) Riccardo Tisci is leading the shortlist—with many citing the strong representation of LVMH executives present at Givenchy's blockbuster Spring/Summer 2016 show.

Stay tuned as this story develops.

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