He said he was leaving Milan forever, but he never said anything about Paris. Yes, the longest-running game of Guess Who? the fashion world has ever seen is finally over. And cue the welcome party, because we couldn’t be happier.
Cathy Horyn broke the news today that Raf Simons will be taking over (effective immediately) as artistic director at Dior. His first collection with the house will be for the haute couture shows in July—somewhat fitting considering the colour-loving minimalist took a decidedly haute hand to his recent Jil Sander “Couture Trilogy” (before getting the boot, that is).
The news comes after over a year of headhunting on Dior’s part. The house famously went after Marc Jacobs last year (the two parties couldn’t agree on salary) and reportedly later Lanvin honcho Alber Elbaz (he turned down the offer). Simons’ name started popping up in late December and the rumour mill began churning like nobody’s business.
The juiciest part in all this? Yves Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane has been a longtime menswear rival of Simons’. And now the two get to face off in the womenswear arena. Does this mean Dior versus YSL walk-offs are in our future?
Whether he was their first choice or not, he was most definitely ours. We’re still having dreams about his last Jil Sander collection. Those reds! Those pinks! This really couldn’t have turned out better.
Fashionista: “Raf is in at Dior and it’s as if all the fashion stars have aligned.” [Fashionista]
The Fader: “It’s exciting to think that someone as subversive, intellectual, subtle and measured, someone who speaks to young fashion fans so seamlessly, will be taking the reins at arguably the highest profile fashion house in the world, and it’s anyone’s guess how he’ll merge his vision with Dior’s.” [The Fader]
Styleite: “Pardon us while we totally freak out.” [Styleite]
Bernadette Morra, editor-in-chief: “Looking back now at Jil Sander’s Fall 2012 collection, it seems obvious that Raf already had Dior on his mind, especially in terms of those New Look silhouettes. I think that bodes well for the house of Dior. Raf also has the maturity to move into couture. So while it may take him a few seasons to adjust and get his “couture legs,” I think we are all in for a refreshing new chapter of Dior.”
Susie Sheffman, fashion editor-at-large: “I’m already drooling! Raf Simon’s past few collections have had editors (including moi) swooning as he explored mid-century couture in the most modern way! This is such an exciting natural extension and I can only dream of how he’ll embrace Christian Dior’s iconic signature with a New Look of his own!”
Randi Bergman, online editor: “After months and months and months of throwing names into the ring, I’m thrilled to see that the house made this GENIUS decision. To repeat the points I made when this potential first came to light: Dior under Simons is sure to promise less extravagance, and with it, less meandering for inspiration—something that Galliano was prone to in the later years of his tenure at Dior. We can bid adieu to the Cleopatras, the Marie Antoinettes, and the Marlene Dietrichs in favour of Raf’s bold new heroine, distinct of the here and now.”