Late last night a WWD email blast went out with the provocative headline that Dior was close to a deal with Raf Simons. Exciting, to say the least, and normally we’d be very excited, if we weren’t already exhausted from being very excited so many times before.
Since John Galliano’s unceremonious departure from Dior, following a drunken, anti-Semitic rant earlier this year, at least a dozen marquee names have been floated, including Marc Jacobs, Alber Elbaz, Sarah Burton, Olivier Theyskens and, perhaps most credibly, Riccardo Tisci. At this point it might be easier to count those who have not been rumored to clinch the top spot.
There’s just one problem with Raf Simons going to Dior. As WWD notes, the Belgian designer recently re-signed as creative director of Jil Sander, a house he’s been busy reinventing from cult label to global powerhouse. It’s unlikely he’d be able to annul the prior obligation any time soon, even if he wanted to.
Another obstacle, one that plagued Marc Jacobs during his negotiations, is that Dior is very much a couture house. There are, on top of two ready to wear shows and pre-collections each, two very important couture collections a year. Like Jacobs, Simons doesn’t have couture experience.
Of course, Raf Simons also has a mega-hit men’s line of his own that would need to continue, as it has while he’s split his time between Antwerp and Milan, where Jil Sander is based. And let’s not forget that less than three months ago, during Milan men’s week, Suzy Menkes all but declared Raf Simons in at YSL.
That not one of these scenarios has panned out suggests no one will really know until it’s known. It also suggests the job may be as hot a property as one might assume.