The fashion industry is full of speculation—and most of the time the stories turn out to be true. Earlier last year, Raf Simons resigned from his post as the women’s creative director for Christian Dior (and replaced by Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri). Now, the Belgian designer has officially been named as Calvin Klein’s new Creative Officer after long-running rumours.
Well-known in the fashion world as one of the most innovative designers, Raf Simons’ new mantle was received with a warm and positive response. The euphoria mostly comes from Simons’ creative vision for menswear collection (he founded his eponymous menswear brand in 1995), which he couldn't showcase during his tenure at Dior since he was strictly in charge for womenswear and accessories. And with Calvin Klein bearing the same identity with Raf Simons’ style DNA—a combination of futurism and minimalism targeted towards the youth— the future for more dynamic menswear is widely anticipated.
Calvin Klein itself hasn’t had any creative icon since the company was sold to PVH (Phillips-Van Heusen) in 2012 for $430 million, not including royalties, of course. The American fashion house’s collection designers, Francisco Costa (women’s) and Italo Zucchelli (men’s), exited the company earlier this year paving a new way of global creative strategy to unify all Calvin Klein’s brands under one creative vision.
This is where Raf Simons comes into the picture. The 48-year-old designer will oversee the company’s brands, which includes ck Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein, along with the men's and women’s RTW collections. Not only that, he will also have complete creative control over everything from underwear to fragrance campaigns, making Simons the first person to gain this much control after Calvin Klein himself was in charge.
"The arrival of Raf Simons as Chief Creative Officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein. 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 on its future,” said Steve Shiffman, the CEO of Calvin Klein on the brand’s Facebook page.
Raf Simons will debut his first collection for Calvin Klein’s Autumn/Winter 2017 show.
(Photo credit: Calvin Klein)