As Creative Director of the Parisian fashion house, he undeniably changed the brand – but what now? WGSN’s senior team shares their thoughts
While at the brand, he truly made his mark – you can’t argue with a 60% increase in sales since 2011. However, from the statement released with the announcement of his departure there is the niggling feeling that churning out up to six collections a year has taken its toll.
He’s a huge talent, of that there is no doubt. But what should he – and could he – do now? WGSN’s senior team shares their thoughts and predictions…
Scale down and create something special
Global Chief of Content Carla Buzasi says: “The merry go-round at the top tier of fashion brands betrays a relentless schedule that’s getting too much for some designers. If I were Raf, I’d take a well deserved sabbatical, and come back with something small, boutique and unexpected.”
Focus on Raf Simons the brand
Director of Brand and Propositions, Lauretta Roberts, says: “Am quite sad about this. I rather liked the idea and, indeed the reality, of Raf at Dior. He says this move is for personal reasons and he wants to develop his own brand, which he certainly has the scope, talent and profile to do. He is modern, multi-faceted and… moody (you thought I was going to say minimalist, didn’t you? I wouldn’t dare, I’ve seen Dior and I) and, while I know it won’t happen, for my personal reasons, I’d quite like to see him have a stab at (Yves) Saint Laurent. Am I allowed to say that? Oh well, I guess I just have…”
Take a breath
Head of Catwalks, Lizzy Bowring, says: “The announcement of Raf Simon’s departure for all of us avid followers of the modernist regeneration of the House of Dior, may not come as a surprise when appreciating Simons’s creative sensibility and the future dynamics of the world around us. There is life after a frenetic round of constant creative development where one can lose sight of the initial vision. Raf Simons will no doubt take time to breath and focus on his own endeavors. An honest, deeply caring and creatively sensitive soul – where he chooses to go next will be a sense of peace and personal creative fulfillment. As Christian Dior began a legacy, so Raf renewed with a modern edge legacy – the house of Dior will continue to flourish regardless of the tenureship.”
Discover and create the true Raf Simons aesthetic
Laura Yiannakou, Associate Womenswear Editor, says: “Raf Simons – like every great designer – has wowed us with ability to adapt. From his refined and minimalist aesthetic at Jil Sander, to injecting a sense of feminine modernity to Dior’s romantically timeless heritage. I’d like to see what direction Raf would take if he were to create his own, stripped-back womenswear line, minus the pressures of having to evolve the roots of an already established fashion house.”
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