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Raf Simons leaves Dior

After just three years at the helm, Raf Simons is vacating the role of artistic director at Dior

By Kate Guest | Published: 23 Oct 2015

Simons quits Dior
Photo: Gerardo Somoza/startraksphoto.com

Raf Simons is leaving his role as creative director of women's ready-to-wear, haute couture and accessories at Dior. The Spring/Summer 2016 collection, presented in Paris on October 2, will be his last for the French luxury fashion house.

"It is after careful and long consideration that I have decided to leave my position as creative director of Christian Dior's women's collection," Simons said in a statement released overnight. "It is a decision based entirely and equally on my desire to focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand, and the passions that drive me outside my work."

Dior said Simons, 47, had "reached the decision for personal reasons". Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy and Christian Dior SA, and Sidney Toledano, chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture, "very warmly thank him for his exceptional contribution to the house," the statement read.

Simons' time at the house, which he joined in 2012 after seven years at Jil Sander, was an overwhelmingly successful one, both creatively and commercially. "Christian Dior is an extraordinary company," Simons' statement continued, "and it has been an immense privilege to write a few pages of this magnificent book. I want to thank M. Bernard Arnault for the trust he has put in me, giving me the incredible opportunity to work at this beautiful house surrounded by the most amazing team one could ever dream of. I have also had the chance over the last few years to benefit from the leadership of Sidney Toledano. His thoughtful, heartfelt and inspired management will also remain as one of the most important experiences of my professional career."

Sources say the parting is amicable, however the decision was reached when the parties failed to agree a new employment contract. 

Simons' exit was a far quieter yet no less surprising one than that of his predecessor, John Galliano. There is no word yet on who will replace him in one of the hottest seats in fashion. Let the speculation begin.

Related: Who will replace Raf Simons at Dior?
Related: First look: What you need to know about Dior's flower dome show set
Related: Exclusive: Dior Spring Summer 2016 highlights


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