In a move that surprised pretty much no one in the industry, Raf Simons has finally taken his next step post-Dior - as the newly appointed chief creative officer of Calvin Klein. He fills the shoes left by womenswear head Francisco Costa and menswear designer Italo Zucchelli, who both departed the American label in April.
The news was announced on Calvin Klein's social channels this morning and is part of a company strategy to unify all facets of the brand. Simons will head up ck Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein and both men's and women's ready-to-wear. He'll have complete creative control over the branding of everything - including the Calvin Klein beauty and homewares lines. Simon's sleek, minimalist aesthetic is a not only a seamless fit for Calvin Klein; but no doubt this consolidation of everything under one man's vision will signal a new direction for the brand and bring some cohesiveness to the various arms of the business.
Calvin Klein, Inc. today announced the appointment of Raf Simons as Chief Creative Officer of the brand, effective immediately. ⠀ Mr. Simons will lead the creative strategy of the Calvin Klein brand globally across the Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein Platinum, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Home brands. As part of his role as Chief Creative Officer, Mr. Simons will oversee all aspects of Design, Global Marketing and Communications, and Visual Creative Services. Mr. Simons’ first collections will debut for the Fall 2017 season. ⠀ The appointment of Mr. Simons as Chief Creative Officer marks the implementation of Calvin Klein’s new global creative strategy, announced in April 2016, to unify all Calvin Klein brands under one creative vision. The strategy comes as part of a global evolution of the Calvin Klein brand, which began with the reacquisition of the Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein Underwear businesses in 2013. As Calvin Klein looks to grow the brand to $10 billion in global retail sales, this new leadership is intended to further strengthen the brand’s premium positioning worldwide and pave the way for future long-term global growth. ⠀ The arrival of Raf Simons as Chief Creative Officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein,” said Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc. “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.” ⠀ As part of the creative strategy for the apparel and accessories business, Calvin Klein also announced the hire of Pieter Mulier as Creative Director, reporting directly to Mr. Simons. Mr. Mulier will be responsible for executing Mr. Simons' creative and design vision for all men’s and women’s apparel and accessories lines within the Calvin Klein brand.
Simons' longtime colleague Pieter Mulier has been appointed his right hand man at Calvin Klein, and as anyone who's seen Dior and I will attest, he plays a major role in Raf's creative process. This exciting news follows last month's appointment of Maria Grazia Chiuri to Simon's old Dior post last month. Just another move in fashion's ever-evolving game of chess, really.