Raf Simons Leaves Jil Sander…For Dior?

Raf Simons before the presentation of Autumn-Winter 2012/2013 ready-to-wear men’s collection on Jan. 21, 2012, in Paris.
Photo: Getty Images

Whoa, gigantic fashion news! WWD is reporting that Raf Simons, creative director of minimalist fashion house Jil Sander, is leaving the company. What’s the big deal, you ask? (Because fashion designers move around from time to time.) Well, this is particularly titillating for many reasons: A) because the rumor is that Simons is in talks to take over the vacant spot left by John Galliano over at Dior *gasp* and B) because the other rumor is that Jil Sander herself might be returning to her namesake label. Confused? Don’t be. Quick rundown: Jil Sander—the actual woman who started her eponymous label known for minimalist chic 44 years ago—resigned in 2000, following a 75 percent sale of the company to the Prada Group. The company faltered without her at the helm, so she returned in 2003 only to resign again in 2004 and DISAPPEAR from the fashion world completely. (Major dramz.) She popped up again in 2009 to design the +J collection for Uniqlo, but she just resigned from that position recently too. And THIS is where it gets interesting, folks…

According to WWD Japan, Sander said she was working on a “new project” she couldn’t talk about but that an announcement would be made during Milan Fashion Week, which is happening NOW. Also, the Jil Sander company just released a statement that it would appoint a new creative director “in the next few days,” which is just in time for Simons’ last collection for the brand and in line with Ms. Sander’s new project announcement date. Thus, while no one has said it outright, all fash signs are pointing to Raf Simons moving to Dior and Jil Sander moving back to, well, JIL SANDER. And this is shaping up to be quite the speculative fashion world soap opera! Still, we’re fascinated and happy that Ms. Sander is possibly returning to the label she started back in 1968 because she’s a design badass and the godmother of chic, streamlined, modern womenswear. Also, Raf Simons is just as interestingly innovative and has upheld the Sander legacy. What kind of magic could he whip up at Dior? We’re getting jittery with anticipation at the thought of hummingbird-adorned “New Look” suits…

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