Calvin Klein bags ex-Dior CD Raf Simons as chief creative officer
After a week or so of rumours, Calvin Klein has confirmed its new chief creative officer as Raf Simons, who departed his role as women’s creative director of Christian Dior last October.
Simons departed Dior in 2015
Simons will lead the creative strategy of the entire brand, which comprises the likes of Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Home, as well as the flagship Calvin Klein line.
The creative will head up design (debuting his first collections at the A/W 2017 season) alongside looking after the brand’s visual creative services and its global marketing and communications. Pieter Mulier, often referred to as Simons’ ‘right hand man’ at Dior, has also been named as creative director, reporting directly to his former colleague.
The duo’s arrival appears more than just an artistic choice: Calvin Klein hopes the senior appointments will ‘further strengthen the brand’s premium positioning worldwide and pave the way for future long-term global growth.’
Steve Shiffman, chief executive of Calvin Klein, said: “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 modernised fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand.”
Today’s news comes four months after Calvin Klein announced a new strategy to unify all of its brands ‘under one creative vision’, which itself came after its reacquisition of Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein Underwear in 2013. Its current goal is to reach $10bn in global retail sales.
The company was last in the advertising headlines in May this year when it was accused of going too far with its signature provocative shoots with an upskirt shoot for the #MyCalvins campaign. Many accused the brand of misogyny on social media.