Back To Top

Calvin Klein snaps up ex-Dior designer Simons

NEW YORK (AFP) -- U.S. fashion house Calvin Klein on Tuesday announced the appointment of former Christian Dior designer Raf Simons as its new chief creative officer, with his debut collections set for the fall 2017 season.

The appointment of the 48-year-old design heavyweight, effective immediately, will see the Belgian lead the creative strategy of the brand globally, including its clothing, underwear, jeans and home furnishings.

“As part of his role as chief creative officer, Mr. Simons will oversee all aspects of design, global marketing and communications, and visual creative services,” the company announced via Facebook.

Simons quit as creative director at Christian Dior last October after more than three years at the helm of the French giant.

His new job comes after Calvin Klein announced in April that it would unify all brands under one creative vision as it seeks to grow to $10 billion in global retail sales.

“This new leadership is intended to further strengthen the brand's premium positioning worldwide and pave the way for future long-term global growth,” the company said in its statement.

“Not since Mr. Klein himself was at the company has it been led by one creative visionary, and I am confident that this decision will drive the Calvin Klein brand and have a significant impact,” said the company’s CEO Steve Shiffman.

“Raf’s exceptional contributions have shaped and modernized fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand.”

J-Law dress fame

Vogue magazine immediately welcomed the new appointment, hailing Simons as one of the “most central and celebrated figures” in fashion for the last 20 years.

He took the job at Dior in April 2012 after British designer John Galliano was fired following an outcry over anti-Semitic insults he made in a Paris bar that were caught on camera.

Prior to that, he worked as creative director at New York-based minimalist fashion house Jil Sander and in 1995 founded his eponymous menswear label.

One of his most famous dresses is the pale pink bulb-skirted gown worn by Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence to the 2013 Academy Awards when she famously tripped up the stairs before collecting her first Oscar for best actress.

Simons brings with him to Calvin Klein long-term colleague Pieter Mulier, his former right-hand man at Dior. The label said Mulier would report directly to the new chief creative officer.

“Mr. Mulier will be responsible for executing Mr. Simons’ creative and design vision for men's and women’s ready to wear, as well as the bridge and better apparel lines and accessories,” the fashion house said.

“He will also manage all men's and women’s design teams within the Calvin Klein brand, under Mr. Simons’ leadership,” it added.