This past Monday (April 9th), Belgian designer Raf Simons was named Artistic Director of Christian Dior, succeeding Galliano as the chief designer. Galliano was dismissed from Dior in late February of last year, after being convicted of anti-Semitism.
The new Artistic Director studied industrial design and began his career as a furniture designer. His first menswear collection showed in Milan in 1995, under his own name. He started designing womenswear collections in 2004. And in 2008, he expanded his collections to include accessories. As Chief Designer at Dior, Simon is responsible for Haute Couture, Ready-to-Wear, and Women’s Accessories. Simon is known for his innovative, minimalist designs at Jil Sander, and he is associated with launching the bright color trend.
In an interview with The New York Times, Simon discussed his excitement about designing his first collection at Dior: ‘Of course, I haven’t been in the archives yet, but for me the strongest impact is the first 10 years of Dior and how to link that to the 21st century. Mr Dior was very innovative during a short time span. And it was in the middle of the 20th century, a period I am very interested in, whether it’s linked to fashion, architecture or art. So I find it very challenging to rethink couture.’
Simons’ first collection at Dior will premier as soon as this upcoming July, during Paris Fashion Week.