Earlier today, Calvin Klein officially announced Raf Simons as their creative director. It was a long time coming, seeing as to how Simons left his role as creative director at Dior ten months back. Calvin Klein’s creative directors, Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli had both also abruptly departed from their roles in April.
For a reported salary of $18 million, Simons will have control over all creative outputs of the brand, unifying Calvin Klein under “one creative version”. This includes the design of the catwalk collection, diffusion lines and homeware, campaign imagery, fragrances, underwear and so on.
This is indeed good news for the man who revealed to System magazine about the fashion industry that “you have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important.” He further explained that “… when I think back to the first couture show for Dior, in July 2012, I was concerned because we only had eight weeks. And now we never have time like that.” Dazed magazine aptly stated that “you sense that Simons feels he is fighting a system that values instant gratification and commerciality above creativity.”
Hailed as a designer that upholds youth culture and its tribulations in his eponymous Raf Simons label founded in 1995, a stint with Calvin Klein can thus grant him the creative freedom to further explore this theme. Afterall, CK is the label that is known for its offbeat advertising strategy, with recent campaigns featuring popular and social media-savvy celebrities, like Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Frank Ocean and Kate Moss. It can almost be said that this fashion house also embraces the energy of youth in its branding. This would tie in well with Simons style, which Vogue summarizes as “inspired by the world around him, fuelled by his love for both rebellious youth cultures and traditional menswear […] all about modern proportions, pure construction and new shapes.”
CEO Steve Shiffman had also posted on CK’s social media accounts saying, “The arrival of Raf Simons as chief creative officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein. Not since Mr. Klein himself was at the company has it been led by one creative visionary, and I am confident that this decision will drive the Calvin Klein brand and have a significant impact on its future. Raf’s exceptional contributions have shaped and modernized fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand.”
Calvin Klein, Inc. today announced the appointment of Raf Simons as Chief Creative Officer of the brand, effective immediately. ⠀ Mr. Simons will lead the creative strategy of the Calvin Klein brand globally across the Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein Platinum, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Home brands. As part of his role as Chief Creative Officer, Mr. Simons will oversee all aspects of Design, Global Marketing and Communications, and Visual Creative Services. Mr. Simons’ first collections will debut for the Fall 2017 season. ⠀ The appointment of Mr. Simons as Chief Creative Officer marks the implementation of Calvin Klein’s new global creative strategy, announced in April 2016, to unify all Calvin Klein brands under one creative vision. The strategy comes as part of a global evolution of the Calvin Klein brand, which began with the reacquisition of the Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein Underwear businesses in 2013. As Calvin Klein looks to grow the brand to $10 billion in global retail sales, this new leadership is intended to further strengthen the brand’s premium positioning worldwide and pave the way for future long-term global growth. ⠀ The arrival of Raf Simons as Chief Creative Officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein,” said Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc. “Not since Mr. Klein himself was at the company has it been led by one creative visionary, and I am confident that this decision will drive the Calvin Klein brand and have a significant impact on its future. Raf’s exceptional contributions have shaped and modernized fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand.” ⠀ As part of the creative strategy for the apparel and accessories business, Calvin Klein also announced the hire of Pieter Mulier as Creative Director, reporting directly to Mr. Simons. Mr. Mulier will be responsible for executing Mr. Simons' creative and design vision for all men’s and women’s apparel and accessories lines within the Calvin Klein brand.
Simons’ first collection for Calvin Klein will debut for the upcoming A/W 2017 season, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for the brand.