Raf Simons has been officially named the new chief creative officer of Calvin Klein, formalising the Belgian designer’s next move after three years as women’s creative director of Christian Dior Couture.
Simons arrival at the helm of the iconic American brand comes soon after the news that Dior has hired Valentino co-creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri as it’s first female Creative Director after 70 years, replacing Simons, who resigned in October 2015 from the LVMH-controlled French luxury house.
Simons’ agreement with Dior is thought to have expired at the end of July, which explains why his appointment at the PVH Corp.-owned Calvin Klein, though widely anticipated in industry circles, was never confirmed by the company until today. The company took to social media — including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook — to communicate the news.
Here is the press release below
Calvin Klein, Inc. today announced the appointment of Raf Simons as Chief Creative Officer of the brand, effective immediately.
Mr. Simons will lead the creative strategy of the Calvin Klein brand globally across the Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein Platinum, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Home brands. 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. Mr. Simons’ first collections will debut for the Fall 2017 season.
The appointment of Mr. Simons as Chief Creative Officer marks the implementation of Calvin Klein’s new global creative strategy, announced in April 2016, to unify all Calvin Klein brands under one creative vision. The strategy comes as part of a global evolution of the Calvin Klein brand, which began with the reacquisition of the Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein Underwear businesses in 2013. As Calvin Klein looks to grow the brand to $10 billion in global retail sales, 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 arrival of Raf Simons as Chief Creative Officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein,” said Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc. “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. Raf’s exceptional contributions have shaped and modernized fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand.”
As part of the creative strategy for the apparel and accessories business, Calvin Klein also announced the hire of Pieter Mulier as Creative Director, reporting directly to Mr. Simons. Mr. Mulier will be responsible for executing Mr. Simons’ creative and design vision for all men’s and women’s apparel and accessories lines within the Calvin Klein brand.