Dior’s new fashion director reveals his vision for the future

The new fashion director at Christian Dior is offering a sober mien and cool, modernist lines to try and restore the French couturier’s previous appeal. The wool-blend sweaters and button-down shirts favoured by the new director is a sharp contrast to Galliano, who once caused an uproar by created a show about homeless people’s clothes and battled with alcohol and drug addictions.

The search for new designers is never simple as it’s important to find someone who has an artistic vision that can be wed successfully with the fashion house history. Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld is revered partly because he managed to introduce leatherwear into his collection but still retained Coco Chanel’s spirit. Simons has the same task, to retain Christian Dior’s belief that women should be decked in tastefully expensive fabric.

Although the connection between Christian Dior’ vision, Simons and the minimalistic work he completed at Jil Sander remains unclear to many, fashion insiders have pointed to Simon’s recent work and noted that it had a distinct, mid-Century Parisian feel.

Simons is facing a huge amount of pressure to perform well, especially since he knows that he wasn’t the first choice. Dior conducted talks with many high-profile candidates such as Marc Jacobs (Louis Vuitton) and Alber Elbaz (Lavin).

The stakes are also high because Christian Dior, which is part of Bernard Arnault’s luxury goods empire, has near enough become LVMH group’s public face. Even though LVMH’s Louis Vuitton brand name accounts for over half of the group’s operating profit, it’s the Dior commercials featuring Charlize Theron disrobing that LVMH is becoming increasingly known for.

LMVH also noted in their annual report that Dior’s haute couture line is vital to Christian Dior perfume sales. The association between haute couture and Christian Dior is important to keep, so Dior’s new designer, Simons, really does have his work cut out for him.

 

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