It is official. Following months of speculation, Calvin Klein has confirmed that Raf Simons will take the helm of its New York-based brand. The former Christian Dior creative director and bonafide men’s fashion force will oversee Calvin Klein’s recently unified men’s and womenswear collections beginning in August.
Simons succeeds Calvin Klein’s longtime creative directors, Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli, who respectively handled the women’s and men’s collections, and who both stepped down in April. Christian Dior confirmed Simons’ departure on the heels of his Spring/Summer 2016 collection for the house in October 2015, but Klein is only confirming his appointment now due to a lag time associated with Simons’ non-compete agreement with Dior, which prevented his association with other competing brands. He will maintain his Belgian eponymous label, which he founded in 1995 and split time between New York and Antwerp.
The move is the latest personnel change for a fashion industry in upheaval, with companies ranging from Brioni to Yves Saint Laurent replacing their creative directors. For PVH, the idea is to reinvigorate the Calvin Klein brand and push it to $10 billion in global retail sales.
The apparel company, which also owns the Tommy Hilfiger name, bought the Calvin Klein jeans and underwear businesses in 2013. It previously owned other Calvin Klein clothing lines, so the move helped unify the brand under one roof.
PVH also announced on Tuesday it has hired Pieter Mulier as Calvin Klein’s creative director, putting him in charge of executing Simons’ vision.