Raf Simons is leaving Christian Dior.
According to WWD, the designer and creative head of the house said he “reached this decision for personal reasons.” The spring/summer 2016 collection he just presented at Paris Fashion Week was his last for the famed fashion house.
Simons’ contract with the company was up for renewal and according to reports, the designer and label split after being unable to come to an agreement. It’s a surprise move for the 47-year-old designer, and is a major shakeup for Dior, which could result in changes at other houses should the brand hire a designer from another couture house. As of now, Dior has not named a replacement for Simons.
It’s the second major design change for Dior in five years. In 2011, John Galliano was fired after an anti-semetic outburst. He is now the chief designer of Maison Marigela. Simons was brought on in April 2012 to lead the house.
Prior to joining Dior, Simons had his own collection which he founded in 1995, and also served as creative director of Jil Sander, until he was let go for the Sanders’ return in 2011. On his own, Simons is well known in fashion for his collaborations with Adidas Originals and his own label.
In a statement released to WWD, Simons said: “It is after careful and long consideration that I have decided to leave my position as Creative Director of Christian Dior Couture Women’s collection. 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 of my work. Christian Dior is an extraordinary company, and it has been an immense privilege to be allowed 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 experience of my professional career.”
See the last collection Simons created for Dior here: