As soon as news broke that Raf Simons would be named the new Artistic Director of Christian Dior, taking on haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessories for the brand, there was a collective gasp—in certain circles, at least—of, “But he’s a minimalist!” Within hours, critics and observers were pitting him against Hedi Slimane, another minimalist newly in charge of a storied French house, wondering what Simons would make of such a romantic brand.
But now that LVMH has confirmed his appointment, Simons is free to talk about the future he’s planning for Dior and is defending his varied interests. “I don’t think it’s wrong to call me a minimalist,” Simons told WWD. “It’s wrong to call me a minimalist only. I am also a romantic person.” Femininity, he says, will guide his designs at Dior. The designer’s already in Paris, starting work today on winter’s couture collection (shown this July) and says, “When I’m married to a house, I will fully embrace its original intention, its original heritage and meaning.”