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Calvin Klein confirms Raf Simons appointment

Lauretta Roberts
02 August 2016

Calvin Klein has officially confirmed the appointment of former Dior creative director Raf Simons to the post of chief creative officer. His appointment at the US house is effective immediately.

Simons' appointment had been widely anticipated since Calvin Klein parted company with its two former creative directors Francisco Costa (womenswear) and Italo Zuchelli (menswear) in April.

When he left Dior last year Simons cited the workload as a major factor in his decision to move but it had been speculated that he was also frustrated at not being given full creative control of the brand. Calvin Klein has offered him full creative control of all of its labels and his remit extends into marketing and communications and VM.

Simons will lead the creative strategy of the Calvin Klein brand globally across the Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein Platinum, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Home brands. As part of his role as he will also oversee all aspects of design, global marketing and communications, and visual creative services. His first collection will be AW17.

At the time of the departure of Costa and Zuchelli, Calvin Klein said its new strategy was to unite all its brands under "one creative vision", which prompted speculation it had secured the services of Simons, who is understood to have been sitting out a non-compete clause before his appointment could be made official.

Calvin Klein CEO Steve Shiffman said Simons' appointment marked a "momentous new chapter" for the brand. “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,” Shiffman said.

The company also confirmed that Simons' right-hand man Pieter Muller had been appointed to the position of creative director and would report to Simons. Muller worked with Simons at Dior and was a central character in the 2015 documentary Dior & I, which told the story of Simons' appointment at the French fashion house and the creation of his first couture show.

Former Valentino joint creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri was recently revealed as Simons' successor at Dior, the first woman ever to be chief designer at the 70-year-old house.


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