The rumour mill is churning again around the search for John Galliano’s successor at Dior, this time directed at Jil Sander designer Raf Simons. The Belgian, whose minimalist, and recently couture-inflected, designs have won critical acclaim, is said to be in talks with the French house, according to an article in WWD. Dior has been without a designer since March, after Galliano was accused, and later convicted, of uttering racist slurs.
Simons is the latest name to surface in the near 10-month-long search for someone to take the reins at Dior. Whispers of everyone from Alber Elbaz to Alexander Wang have been bandied about, with one of the bigger rumours surrounding Louis Vuitton designer Marc Jacobs. (The American allegedly turned down the job over money and team organization.)
The deal with Simons is said to be a complicated one, given that he only recently renewed his contract with Jil Sander for an unspecified number of seasons, but fashion insiders are supportive of the move. “If judged solely as a minimalist, Mr. Simons might seem an odd fit for romantic Dior, but his Jil Sander collections are actually proof of a nimble mind that seeks a broader aesthetic expression,” wrote New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn. “And Dior is much more than the crinoline narratives that its former designer, John Galliano, adored.”
If a deal were to go through, it would be too late for January’s couture collections, and for the fall womenswear collections, which show in Milan in late February. So if the rumours are true, Simons’ interpretation of Dior will be months away. And if the last 10 months have taught us anything, that’s still a big if.