Raf Simons – Life After Dior
There is no doubt the world of fashion recruitment was set ablaze after the news broke that Raf Simons, creative director of Christian Dior, was leaving his position. As a talented industry expert with awards and popular collections aplenty, there is likely to be a fair bit of interest in making him the target of an executive search by a number of other fashion labels.
However, it’s not so simple as Simons moving on to another project. His Dior contract means he has signed a noncompete agreement that prevents him working for any of Dior’s main competitors for a few years at least. Simons has been quoted as saying he wants to focus on other areas of his life, including paying attention to his own fashion label, which has been gaining traction for several years now. He will be showcasing his 2017 collection this summer, even hinting at a special project which is sure to delight fans and followers of his work.
It is not uncommon for people to leave their high-profile job in search of a more personal focus in the workplace, whether it was sparked by an executive search or not. The biggest rumour in circulation at the moment is that Simons is being courted by fashion giant Calvin Klein, although under the terms of his noncompete agreement it is unclear how soon a collaboration could take place. Nonetheless, it’s a rumour that refuses to abate and has fashion industry leaders excited about what could be coming next. Simons himself has said that lack of personal freedom was a driving force behind his decision to leave, adding that he was working by another brand’s code rather than his own and this left him with little time to focus on his own endeavours.
Simons first joined Dior in 2012 and his collections were immediately met with acclaim, seeing him surge to the top of fashion’s most wanted lists worldwide. It is a legacy that is certain to follow him wherever he goes, and his future plans are definitely on the radar of fashion recruitment specialists across the board.
The departure of Raf Simons has been amicable, with Dior’s CEO Sidney Toledano thanking Simons for his ‘exceptional contribution’ to the fashion house. Even in a such a high profile situation, it is remarkably refreshing to see former colleagues parting on positive terms as one moves on to the next stage in their career, whatever the underlying reasons.
While Simons turns his attention to his personal brand, speculation is also rife about who could replace him at Dior, with several exciting names being thrown into the mix. Former designers at Nina Ricci and Gucci are among those being touted as likely to take up Simons’ mantle. It’s not an easy pair of stylish shoes to fill, but it’s a move that fashion followers are eagerly awaiting, so the executive search recruitment team at Dior have a tall task ahead.