Jil Sander's golden boy tipped to fill Galliano's flamboyant shoes at Dior

Raf Simons would bring a more purist aesthetic to the grand French fashion house

With January's haute couture season approaching, all eyes in Paris remain fixed on Christian Dior and, specifically, who will replace John Galliano at the grand French fashion house.

Over the past six months, Marc Jacobs – responsible for the creative direction of Louis Vuitton, the jewel in the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) crown, and the luxury goods conglomerate which also owns Dior – was believed to be the front-runner. It is now thought that talks broke down last month and a new name has come to the fore: that of Raf Simons, the Belgian-born designer whipping up a storm at Jil Sander. Fashion trade paper, Women's Wear Daily, cited 43-year-old Simons as a significant contender yesterday, suggesting that Dior were in ongoing discussions with him, but that his release from his contract with Jil Sander, might prove a stumbling block. Mr Simons has been creative director of Jil Sander since 2005.

In fact, his appointment as head of womenswear there came as something of a surprise. Although Simons' talent as a designer was never in question, he was known for menswear. His signature collection of minimal looks based on street culture were thought to have revolutionised the way men dressed in the early part of the last decade.

Anyone doubting his ability to turn his attention to the more ephemeral craft of women's fashion was quickly proved wrong, however. Simons handwriting was swiftly established as a perfect fit with Jil Sander, a company founded by the eponymous German-born designer in 1968, dedicated to the creation of a modern wardrobe for working women.

Dior appears to be in no great rush to replace Galliano, who was sacked last March after a 15-year tenure, following allegations of a racist and anti-Semitic outburst in a Paris café. In September Galliano was found guilty by the French court on both counts.

Should Simons take over at Dior, he would most likely move away from the high octane vision of fashion fantasy, towards a more pared down and purist aesthetic.

Next in line: Other contenders

Sarah Burton

Succeeded her mentor at Alexander McQueen and was named British designer of the year. Created wedding dress for Catherine Middleton.

Peter Copping

A graduate of the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins, he was Marc Jacobs' assistant at Louis Vuitton and is now at the French label Nina Ricci.

Riccardo Tisci

The Italian designer reinvented Givenchy, but his aesthetic is more suited to the smaller French label than to Dior.

Nicolas Ghesquière

Among the most talented designers of his generation, he has the world's most revered archive at his fingertips at Balenciaga.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

    Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test