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Raf Simons exits Calvin Klein, effective immediately

By Robyn Turk

22 Dec 2018


Raf Simons’ time at Calvin Klein has come to an end. Less than two years after the Belgian designer was appointed to the role of creative director at the American brand, he is making his departure.

Despite the fact that there are still eight months left on Simons’ contract, he is out effective immediately. The Calvin Klein brand will not show a collection for the upcoming season this February.

"Both parties have amicably decided to part ways after Calvin Klein Inc. decided on a new brand direction which differs from Simons’s creative vision," the company said in a statement.

PVH was not impressed by Simons’ results

There has been a question of Simons’ fit with the brand since it’s parent company PVH missed sales last quarter. The company’s chief executive Manny Chirico had pointed a finger of blame at Simons, citing the designers misses with his most recent ready-to-wear and denim collections.

Simons was appointed to his creative director role with Calvin Klein in 2016, following his departure from Dior. Calvin Klein offered him a multi-million dollar salary in the hopes that he could improve sales in the brand’s ready-to-wear line.

The arrival of Simons in New York in August 2016 after four years at Dior caused a sensation. Dubbed "chief creative officer," he had vast powers to revitalize the American brand, which relied on him to boost the profits of its high-end collection.

During his short stint at Calvin Klein, Simons garnered praise from the fashion world for his innovative collections, and he has received three awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Press agency AFP reports that the Calvin Klein shows at New York Fashion Week were again among the most popular. Simons, 50, has been credited with giving the iconic American label renewed relevancy, his collections diving deep into the good, the bad and the ugly of the United States.

Calvin Klein, who in 1968 founded the label bearing his name, sold it in 2003 to PVH which also ownes the Tommy Hilfiger brand.

No details have been given as to who will replace Simons at Calvin Klein or what he will do after his departure.

Photo: Raf Simons, courtesy of CFDA