Raf Simons is “humbled and honoured” to be the new head designer of Christian Dior.
The job has been vacant for over a year, following the sacking of John Galliano after he was accused of making racist comments during an argument in Paris.
Speculation has been rife about who would replace him, with Raf the frontrunner after he exited Jil Sander earlier this year.
“It is with the utmost respect for its tremendous history, its unparalleled knowledge and craftsmanship that I am joining the magnificent house of Dior,” Raf said in a statement. “Mr Christian Dior has always been for me the most inspiring couturier. Around the globe, the name Dior symbolises the ultimate in elegance and refinement. I am truly humbled and honoured to become Artistic Director of the most celebrated French house in the world.”
Raf added he was keen on the position as soon as he heard it was available. He also hinted that he will be taking the iconic fashion house back to its roots.
“The first time I heard about the Dior position I thought, 'This feels right,’” he told New York Times, who first broke the news.
“I haven't been in the archives yet but for me the strongest impact is in the first ten 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.”
Marc Jacobs was thought to be the frontrunner for the position for a long time, although it’s rumoured he could not agree a salary package with Dior.
Following Galliano’s exit, Bill Gaytten has been creating the collections. He worked as the disgraced designer’s assistant for many years and his work has gone down well with fashion fans and critics alike. His pieces have been widely praised and profits at the fashion house have soared.
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