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Designer and creative director Raf Simons announces he’s leaving Christian Dior

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Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons has announced he’s leaving Dior. Raf was made creative director of Dior back in 2012 and the Paris fashion house has prospered under his control, with sales reported to have risen by 60% since 2011. An article in New York Magazine discusses the reasoning behind Raf’s decision and suggests that with “six shows a year, two involving the extra finesse of haute couture – he was candid about the pressures it put on the creative process.”

“It is after careful and long consideration that I have decided to leave my position as Creative Director of Christian Dior Couture Women’s collection,” Raf said in a statement released today. “It is a decision, based entirely and equally on my desire to focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand, and the passions that drive me outside of my work. Christian Dior is an extraordinary company, and it has been an immense privilege to be allowed to write a few pages of this magnificent book. I want to thank M. Bernard Arnault for the trust he has put in me, giving me the incredible opportunity to work at this beautiful house surrounded by the most amazing team one could ever dream of. I have also had the chance over the last few years to benefit from the leadership of Sidney Toledano. His thoughtful, heartfelt and inspired management will also remain as one of the most important experiences of my professional career. ”

Raf’s last appearance for the house was at its Paris show in early October. Questions are abuzz as to what he will do next but it’s speculated his contract will prevent him from working for another brand for several months. The next big question is who will succeed him at Dior?