Creative differences: Raf Simons leaves Calvin Klein after less than two years
According to reports, Simons' high-fashion aesthetic did not sit well with the brand's mass-market ambitions.
Designer Raf Simons is officially parting ways with Calvin Klein – less than two years after joining the brand.
In a statement about Simons’ departure, the company announced, "Both parties have amicably decided to part ways after Calvin Klein Inc decided on a new brand direction which differs from Simons’ creative vision," reported Business Of Fashion. Simons apparently had eight months left to the end of his contract.
The brand will not stage a runway show in February.
For the fashion world, the news is shocking but not unexpected. On an earnings call earlier this year, chief executive officer of Calvin Klein’s parent company PVH Corp Emanuel Chirico expressed disappointment with financial performance and the elevated direction of the brand.
Simons, who was previously artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections at Dior, was appointed Calvin Klein’s chief creative officer in Aug 2016 and presented his first collection in Feb 2017.
His appointment was met with industry approval – the 50-year-old Belgian designer is also known for his cult menswear label and successful stint at Jil Sander – but it was soon felt that there was dissonance between his high-fashion approach and the brand known for its denim, underwear and daring mass-market advertising campaigns.
Fans have reacted to the news on social media, leaving disgruntled and mournful comments on Calvin Klein’s official Instagram page.