After months (and months) of speculation, it’s finally been announced that Raf Simons is the new Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein. The news has been common knowledge in industry circles for months, but it’s taken a lifetime to emerge due to the non-compete clause in Raf’s old contract at Christian Dior.

Simons exited Dior last October after three years in the driver’s seat, citing increasing stress and pressure as the reason for his departure — which makes his appointment at Calvin Klein, a $10bn megabrand, seem a little strange.

In his new role, the Belgian designer will be overseeing CK’s many, many sub-labels and licenses — from fragrances, denim, and underwear to men’s and women’s clothing and the high-end Calvin Klein Collection line. Simons had to design a whopping six collections per year at Dior, some in as little as five weeks, so his new role at CK sounds like exactly the sort of thing he hated doing at the Parisian house.

“The arrival of Raf Simons as chief creative officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein,” said Steve Shiffman, Calvin Klein’s CEO. “Not since Mr. Klein himself was at the company has it been led by one creative visionary, and I am confident that this decision will drive the Calvin Klein brand and have a significant impact on its future. Raf’s exceptional contributions have shaped and modernized fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand.”

Simons has brought with him Pieter Mulier, his longtime right-hand man and studio director, who will be taking the position of Creative Director at CK.

Words by Alec Leach
Freelance Writer/Editor/Consultant

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin

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