Raf Simons Joins Calvin Klein

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Raf Simons Joins Calvin Klein


Confirming the rumors that circled several weeks before, it was announced last week that Raf Simons had been appointed as Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein, effective immediately. Simons will design both the men’s and womenswear collections, a position that allows him to oversee all of the 25 brands contained therein.

It has been mentioned on more than one occasion that one of the confining and less desirable aspects of working in his position at Dior may have been the inability to practice a broader creative control. Store design, perfume advertisements and more were all out of Simons’ reach, which has been noted created a distinct disconnect in theme and the overall brand image between what Simons produced and what was displayed in other areas.

An additional area of contention, though that seems too harsh a word to apply to Simons, was the rigid timeframe in which he needed to work in order to produce the six collections each year. As he stated to Business of Fashion soon after his departure last November, “When you do six shows a year, there’s not enough time for the whole process. Technically, yes — the people who make the samples, do the stitching, they can do it. But you have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important. When you try an idea, you look at it and think, Hmm, let’s put it away for a week and think about it later. But that’s never possible when you have only one team working on all the collections.”

Simons will be supported in this new position by Pieter Mulier, previously his studio manager at Dior, who will now be creative director at Calvin Klein. Simons will show his first collection for the American fashion house, the Autumn/Winter 2017, this September in New York.

The arrival of the former Dior Creative Director at Calvin Klein is at once unsurprising given the preceding rumors, and yet the amalgamation of creative control across the brands and collections brings a new level of excited questioning. The company released a statement at the time of the announcement of Simons’ new position, including the statement that, “A new brand direction will ultimately follow one creative vision across all categories of the business. An announcement will be made in due course.” While this seems to contradict Simons’ earlier sentiment that more time for a greater creative process is necessary, perhaps this position will in fact be more concerned with overall leadership and creative guidance rather than the in-depth design and detail-focused work.


Raf Simons Joins Calvin Klein

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Written by Lillie Peterson

Lillie is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's in Classics and a lifelong fascination for fashion and art. A freelance writer and artist, her hobbies include photography, design, drawing and blogging.

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