Raf Simons fills John Galliano’s shoes at Dior
It has been one of the most highly anticipated announcements the fashion world has been waiting for since John Galliano’s dismissal as artistic director of Dior over a year ago. Speculation has now been put to rest with the news that Raf Simons is to step into Galliano’s shoes as the new artistic director for the label. Raf left his post as artistic director for Jil Sander in February, to get ready for his debut collection for Dior during couture week in July.
Simons was born in Belgium and started off his career as a furniture designer, only to leap into menswear with his own label in 1995. He was then appointed creative director of Jil Sander in 2005, a post he obtained before meeting the original founder who left in 2004 and who is set to return, following his departure. Aside from his work on his own label and that with Sander, Simons has an ongoing collaboration with Fred Perry that started with a seasonal special edition collection in 2008.
Describing himself as a romantic, we can expect to see femininity, glamour and sophistication in his womenswear designs, although some would describe him as somewhat of a minimalist. He added the watchword of his time at Jil Sander was “purism”. His main inspiration at Dior will be “femininity… because it’s beautiful, endless and permanent”.
His inspiration comes from a time when women’s fashion was, perhaps, at its most feminine during the 20th century when fashion embraced womanly curves and expressed glamour. Referring to this period he says: “I find that period between 1947 and 1957 extremely attractive and there was a lot of modernity. There was the romantic appeal looking back to his mother and the belle époque, but there was also a constant evolution in shape, changing proportions and the ideas connected to the World War were revolutionary.”
News of his joining the fashion house has been welcomed with a positive response by the fashion world worldwide. He is the sixth courtier to take the position at Dior since its inception 66 years ago.