Calvin Klein appoints ex-Dior designer Raf Simons its chief creative officer

48-year-old Belgian who quit French fashion house in 2015 will oversee design and marketing of Calvin Klein clothing, underwear, jeans and home furnishings as it targets US$10 billion annual sales

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 August, 2016, 9:57am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 August, 2016, 11:00pm

US fashion house Calvin Klein has appointed former Christian Dior designer Raf Simons as its new chief creative officer, with his debut collections set to appear for the autumn 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 on Facebook.

Simons quit as creative director at Christian Dior in October 2015 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 US$10 billion in global retail sales annually.

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“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
Steve Shiffman

“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 chief executive, Steve Shiffman.

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

Twitter reaction to Simons’ appointment

Vogue 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 Pieter Mulier, his long-term colleague and formerly 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.

 
 
 

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