Paradigm Shift: Fashion Houses Shuffle Creative Directors Amidst Controversy
The fashion industry has experienced a handful of shifts in its upper, creative echelons in the past few weeks. Raf Simons, renowned for modernizing Christian Dior, was appointed chief creative officer at Calvin Klein earlier this week while Maria Grazia Chiuri, once one-half of the Valentino creative team, has left the label for the Simons' old position at Dior.
Simons' appointment follows right at the heels of criticism from CK's founder and former creative director, Calvin Klein, who questioned some of the company's decisions to cast celebrities and social media stars in its commercially successful #mycalvins campaigns. The brand has also faced criticism for several of its more provocative advertisements. The styling of one photo in particular "recalled exploitative pornagraphic upskirt photos that are taken without the permission of the subject" (Refinery29).
Simons' new leadership at the eponymous fashion brand comes "at a time when the New York fashion scene lacks direction... Mr. Simons’s appointment at the top level of one of America’s most resonant brands is a potential game-changer for the industry" (NY Times). His new role as creative chief will include oversight over all creative aspects of the brand, including runway, ready-to-wear, lingerie and more.
Assuming Simons' former creative role at Christian Dior is Maria Grazia Chiuri, formerly one half of the creative force behind Valentino (her appointment leaves Pierpaolo Piccioli the now sole creative director at the Italian brand). Chiuri, who will be the first female artistic director at Dior in the brand's entire history, will head women's couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections.
If her eight year creative legacy at Valentino is any indication of Chiuri's future success at the helm of Dior, fans of the brand should expect a modern new take on the fabled French fashion house. Valentino's recent growth in profits can largely be credited to Chiuri's leadership as well. Her business acumen, creative vision and experience in the industry will undoubtedly benefit the Dior brand.
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