Belgian designer to succeed Galliano
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Belgian designer Raf Simons. AFP photoFrench fashion powerhouse Dior on April 9 named Raf Simons as chief designer to succeed disgraced John Galliano who was fired more than a year ago for racist outbursts.
The 44-year-old Belgian, who started out designing furniture, will be responsible for Haute Couture, Ready-to-Wear and Women’s Accessories, the Paris-based fashion house said in a statement.
He will premiere his first Christian Dior Haute Couture collection in Paris in July, said Dior, one of the crown jewels in Bernard Arnault’s LVMH luxury empire.
Dior hailed the Belgian as “one of the biggest contemporary talents,” saying that “he will inspire and push into the 21st century the style that Mr Dior launched with the opening of his house and that has changed, since its first collection, the codes of world elegance.”
The designer in turn hailed his new employer as “a symbol of absolute elegance.”
Flamboyant British designer Galliano was sacked last year after a video emerged of him hurling anti-Semitic slurs at patrons in a Paris bar. Since then, his former righthand man Bill Gaytten has overseen Dior collections.
Galliano was convicted of anti-Semitism by a French court in September, receiving suspended fines totalling 6,000 euros after the court accepted his argument that he was sorry for his actions.
Simons, who has always been a darling of the fashion press, had his own eponymous line that has been showing in Paris for a while. He is known for his often ground-breaking, minimalist fashion which he originally designed for men before launching into women’s pret-a-porter.
The Flemish Belgian works and lives in Antwerp, and his name had been repeatedly mentioned over recent months as a possible replacement for Galliano.