It's Official: Raf Simons Is Taking Over Calvin Klein

It's Official: Raf Simons Is Taking Over Calvin Klein

The rumors can finally be put to rest: Calvin Klein has found its new chief creative officer

The rumors can finally be put to rest: Calvin Klein has found its new chief creative officer

Text: William Defebaugh

After nine months of speculation following his three-year tenure at Christian Dior, Raf Simons has just been officially named chief creative officer at Calvin Klein. Simons' longtime right-hand, Pieter Mulier, will join the designer as creative director.

While many industry insiders knew this announcement was on the way, Simons' non-compete agreement was apparently in effect through July of this year—hence the long, drawn-out wait for those wondering what would happen with one of the most prominent names in American fashion. The news follows Dior's appointment of former Valentino creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri.

“The arrival of Raf Simons as chief creative officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein,” Calvin Klein CEO Steve Shiffman tells BOF. “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.”

In addition to Calvin Klein ready-to-wear, Simons will direct the brand's off-shoot labels: ck Calvin Klein, and Calvin Klein Jeans. His vision will also be directed in all of the aforementioned brands' advertising campaigns (including underwear and fragrance as well). It's an intimidating enterprise for someone who has been continuously outspoken about the staggering amount of pressure put upon designers—but perhaps this newfound vision of unity will streamline the company's overall aesthetic under Simons' regime.

In a refreshing change for the fashion week show circuit—which seems to be increasingly relying on its European stops—all eyes will be on New York this season, with Simons' debut collection for Spring 2017.

Credits: Photo by Willy Vanderperre. Courtesy of Calvin Klein.

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