They said/We said: Fashion insiders weigh in on Raf Simons’ rumoured move to Dior

The fashion community is starting to weigh in on the reports that Raf Simons will be Dior’s new creative director, and we’re not surprised to hear both positive and negative expectations. Dior is widely known for its decorative, romantic, and ladylike style, and Galliano’s over-the-top vision fit the brand perfectly. Simons is known for a much more minimalist style, but has been showing different sides of himself in the last few Jil Sander collections.

Valentino Garavani isn’t optimistic about the high-profile move. “It’s an amazing job, I don’t know if he would be the right person for it. John Galliano is difficult to replace. I think it’s important not to jump into things. It needs to be a logical continuation of the brand. But who am I to say anything? I guess we all just have to wait and see,” he told Vogue UK.

On the other side of the spectrum are fashion editors Lisa Armstrong and Cathy Horyn. “While [Simons’] approach and tastes differ diametrically from Galliano’s, he has an instinctive grasp of the dramatic and architectural,” says Armstrong, and Horyn agrees. “If judged solely as a minimalist, Mr. Simons might seem an odd fit for Dior, but his Jil Sander collections are actually proof of a nimble mind that seeks a broader aesthetic expression.”

While Simons’ move still hasn’t been confirmed, no one can resist giving their two cents. We, for one, will be happy when the Dior decision is finalized.


Fashionista: “Is Raf Simons a good fit for Dior? Without question he’s got the talent and his last two Jil Sander collections were widely praised for their couture shapes, techniques, and detailing. While it’s easy to focus on Simons’ decidedly minimalist design aesthetic as grounds for a misfit with Dior’s sumptuous ladylike look (he has an architecture background), his last few collections have referenced Fifties couture, which has always been Dior’s wheelhouse.” [Fashionista]

Lisa Armstrong: “If confirmed, it will bring a disastrous year for Dior’s image (and 10 months of prickly speculation) to an upbeat close. For Simons has always been the cognoscenti’s choice to take the helm of one of France’s last great couture houses.” [Telegraph]

Cathy Horyn: “Mr. Simons is a logical choice for Dior if one considers what he has done at Jil Sander in the last five years.” [On the Runway]


Susie Sheffman, fashion director: “While sitting at the last few jaw dropping Jil Sander shows, I was blown away by Raf Simons’ incredibly strong mid-century couture references. I have no question that he would blend his sharp modern minimalism with the feminine Diorr aesthetic, and in the most unique way, respect the heritage of the house while moving it light years ahead! I say YES to Raf Simons at Dior! YES YES YES! But I will miss him in Milan.”