The New York Times has just confirmed what’s been rumored for a couple of days—that Raf Simons is stepping down from Jil Sander on Monday.
Simons has been the Creative Director of Sander for seven years, churning out one lauded collection after another; his past three couture-inspired collections have been particular smash hits, critically, on the red carpet and commercially. In September, rumors swirled that Simons was headed to Yves Saint Laurent after another round of Pilati-is-definitely-out rumors hit papers. YSL swore it was happy with Pilati’s work, and in December came whispers (once again, more serious this time) that Simons would take charge at Dior before the end of the year, filling the gaping hole still left from last year’s John Galliano scandal. But Simons refused to comment. He’ll present his last collection for the Prada-owned brand on Saturday.
Of course, everyone assumes that the designer’s headed to Dior—and the upcoming Paris collections mark the perfect occasion for such an exciting announcement—but there’s also the question of who will lead Jil Sander. A statement released by the brand (read the whole thing, below) says that a successor will be named in “the next few days.” WWD suggests that Sander herself will make a triumphant return, noting her recent comment that her new, very secret, gig would be announced during the Milan collections.
For the full statement from the Jil Sander brand, click through.
“The Jil Sander Group and Raf Simons announce today that Mr Simons will leave his position as creative director. Jil Sander Group and Raf Simons agreed that the designer will step down from his position as of February 27, 2012. Raf Simons was appointed Jil Sander creative director on July 1, 2005 with his first collection being men’s autumn/winter 2006-7. The women’s autumn/winter 2012-13 collection will be his last for the company. Jil Sander thanks Raf Simons for his dedicated commitment to the brand, throughout these years, and wishes him the very best for the future. Jil Sander Group will communicate the appointment of a new creative director in the next few days.”