Is Raf Simons taking over at Calvin Klein?

today Jul 20, 2016
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Raf Simons sent shockwaves rippling through the fashion industry when he announced his resignation as Creative Director of Dior last October. But rumors are rife that he could be about to make a major comeback at the helm of Calvin Klein.

The Belgian designer left Dior last fall after three years of overseeing the womenswear creations for the prestigious French fashion house, citing the need to redress his work-life balance. "It's a decision founded on one hand by my desire to concentrate on other centers of interest in my life, notably my own label, as well as the passions that motivate me beyond my professional activities," he said at the time. His gaping absence at the house was finally remedied last week, when the house revealed that Valentino Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri will be stepping into his shoes.

Calvin Klein, meanwhile, has been undergoing a tumultuous period of its own. The all-American classic brand has apparently been sitting on the news of a new star designer since April, following the revelation that it was parting ways with Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli, the respective heads of its womenswear and menswear departments. This move, however, was precipitated by the brand as part of its new strategy to unify the two entities. A statement from Calvin Klein at the time read: "A new brand direction will ultimately follow one creative vision across all categories of the business."

Could Simons be the man taking on that role? The industry certainly suspects so, pointing out the ease with which his modern and elegant approach could be used to revive the iconic US label. Klein himself fanned the flames during a radio interview on Sirius XM when, as reported, he said of the brand: "They won't announce [who it is] publicly because it's under contract. But the whole industry knows." WWD reports that an official announcement is widely excepted this August at the latest, and with the Spring / Summer 2017 shows starting up in September, the race is on. 

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