WWD has just reported that Christian Dior has named Raf Simons its next couturier, and said he would unveil his first collection for the house during Paris Couture Week in July. His official title is artistic director of haute couture, women’s ready-to-wear and accessories collections.
Simons becomes Dior’s sixth couturier. Successors to the founder — who ignited post-war Paris with his extravagant, full-skirted New Look, and whose brief career ended with his death in 1957 — also included Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan and Gianfranco Ferré.
Dior’s choice of Simons suggests the house is ready to nudge its fashions in a more modern direction — given his predilection for minimalism and futurism — and turn a page on the retro-tinged glamour Galliano plied over a stellar 15-year tenure.
The appointment is also sure to ignite a fresh rivalry between Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, which just named Hedi Slimane its creative director. Slimane was the designer of Dior Homme from 2000 to 2007.