THERE is one question that has been burning on every fashion addict’s lips since almost a year now, who will be succeeding John Galliano as creative director of Dior?
So many names have been thrown into the ring by rumour and Chinese Whisperers: Sarah Burton, Tom Ford, even Marc Jacobs had a shot before he firmly denied his involvement and will be staying at Louis Vuitton. But yesterday we got a little closer to solving the labyrinth. One of the top contenders for the job that every designer wants, Raf Simons is leaving his creative director post at Jil Sander following the show on Saturday.
Simons was first appointed creative director at Jil Sander in July 2005, with his first show being Autumn/Winter 2006/2007. What’s more shocking about the news of Simons’ departure is the rumour that Jil Sander will be returning to fill his position at the company she founded. She resigned as both chairwoman and chief design after a spat with Patrizio Bertelli, the CEOof Prada, who has a majority share in the company.
Since Galliano’s sudden dismissal on March 1 last year following his arrest for alleged anti-Semitic comments, the company’s CEO Sidney Toledano appointed Bill Gaytten as Acting Director of Christian Dior. Although Gaytten has not really created anything of huge interest or amazement in the last year, he has kept the ship afloat, even if it is by playing it safe.
Galliano was dismissed in 2011 after being arrested in a Parisian bar for allegedly shouting racist and insulting slurs at a couple also sitting in the bar. This was one of two incidents in the same bar and a video captured by someone witnessing the tirade of abuse was uploaded to the internet and went viral. As anti-Semitic comments are illegal in France, Galliano was arrested and after a subsequent court case, he was ordered by a French court in September to pay €6000 in fines but the real damage was done to his career and reputation.
He will still be showcasing at Paris Fashion Week as he always does, but at the forefront of his own label that’s under the LVMH label chaired by Bernard Arnault.
So we just have to wait and see who will become creative director in the weeks to come but if it’s Raf Simons, will it be the Christian Dior that Galliano strived for 15 years for it to be? Or just Jil Sander under a different name?
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