Paris Fashion Week may be months away, but in the world of high fashion, September couldn’t come any sooner. This year’s showcase will mark the RTW debut of Raf Simons, the new artistic director of Christian Dior. Known for his minimalist approach, Simons’ aesthetic runs in sharp contrast to Dior’s tradition of extravagance and grandeur.
After sacking John Galliano for making anti-Semitic remarks in March 2011, the 65-year-old fashion house could not afford a misstep. Sidney Toledano, president and chief executive of Dior, was deliberately slow in finding a new hire. The lack of an artistic director however, did not hurt Dior’s pockets one bit. According to an April 2012 Women’s Wear Daily article, “Sales in [Dior] boutiques rose 28 percent in 2011, reflecting strength across ready-to-wear, leather goods and watches. Operating profits more than doubled last year to 85 million euros, or $118.4 million.” But when one considers Galliano’s dramatic departure and the generally lackluster reviews of Dior’s recent collections under Bill Gaytten, it would have only been a matter of time before the luxury brand would start to be devalued. READ MORE