Following a successful three and a half year collaboration, Raf Simons will be leaving Christian Dior—a decision the designer reached for “personal reasons,” according to WWD. This marks the second official exit in recent years from Dior, the first being John Galliano’s 2011 expulsion after his infamous anti-Semitic rant in a Paris cafe. Unlike Galliano, Simons doesn’t seem to be leaving with any bad blood, having released the following statement, today:
“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. 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. Christian Dior is an extraordinary company, and it has been an immense privilege to write a few pages of this magnificent book.
I want to thank Mr. 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.”
Simons’ successor at Dior has yet to be pinpointed, but The Cut’s Cathy Horyn suggests Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci or Phoebe Philo of Céline could be worthy of filling his shoes. Tisci, as Horyn points out, is a favorite among top LVMH executives, but “is his dark, religion-infused aesthetic right for pretty Dior?” As for Philo, Horyn suggests the designer could be weary of leaving her London base to spend more time in Paris for Dior.