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What Do People Really Think About Raf Simons at Dior?

Raf Simons.
Raf Simons. Photo: Alexander Klein/AFP/Getty Images

It’s been four whole days since Raf Simons’s appointment at Dior was announced, giving people lots of time to type giddy tweets and give canned quotes about what a great job he’ll do. But not everyone is quite so overwhelmingly enthusiastic — of course, no one will say anything negative outright, but some have expressed cautious puzzlement about how well Simons’s minimalist aesthetic will mesh with Dior’s frilly femininity. (Simons addressed this topic himself in an interview with WWD yesterday.) Overall, most people agree he’s a great choice for the house, and there’s no doubt that his couture collection in July will be a huge, much-fussed-over to-do. Here’s a bunch of quotes — gathered from our own interviews, other publications, and one rap song — about Simons’s move to Dior. 

Lazaro Hernandez : “Raf is a friend. We’re really psyched. He’ll do an amazing job. Raf is fascinated by mid-century. It seems like a perfect fit.” 

Chloë Sevigny: “I think it’s cool. I think some of the big houses got caught up in this nineties moment and early-2000s, and I think they kind of have to refine their houses again. I think [Raf] is going to bring it back to the elegance that Dior deserves. Not that Galliano didn’t do an amazing job, but the bags and the merchandising and the branding got ahead of itself, and now it kind of seems old-fashioned. It seems out of touch. I think he’ll infuse the house with some real elegance and class.” 

Ronald Frasch: “The challenge for Raf is going from a very minimalist aesthetic to one that is a lot less minimal.” [NYT]

Alexandra Shulman: “Raf Simons is an extraordinarily talented designer. He combines great skill and vision with modernity and a point of view, which is essential for leading fashion houses today.” [Vogue UK

Valerie Steele: “I think what [Raf] has done over the last couple of years at Jil Sander is exactly what’s needed to bring Dior into the present moment. He’s shown that he can do things with a couture sensibility, but there’s also a real modernity … to his work.” [Daily Beast]   

Glenda Bailey: “[He] has proved that he is very adaptable … He created a great feel for the [Jil Sander] house after Jil had left.” [NYT]

A$AP Rocky (as quoted from his song “Peso”): “Raf Simons, Rick Owens / usually what I’m dressed in.” 

Colin McDowell: “This is a great chance for Raf to prove himself a true all-rounder. I see no reason why he should not succeed in moving Dior in a new direction and I look forward to his collections with great anticipation.” [Vogue UK]

Cathy Horyn: “While not the obvious choice for Dior, given his history in avant-garde men’s fashion, Mr. Simons is nonetheless the logical one. In his six years at Jil Sander he expanded its minimalist form to include more feminine shapes, some based on ’50s couture.” [NYT]

Mark Holgate: “I’m excited because I don’t know quite what to expect in July … If anyone is looking just for a correlation between the last trilogy of collections he did [at Jil Sander] that referenced Modernism, I suspect [they won’t find it] … I think he’s got a more compelling and original vision than that. He connects with the language of a house and then he takes it somewhere else.” [NYT]

Katie Grand: “I am a huge fan of Raf’s. He’s smart, clever, interesting and extremely talented. I think he will modernise Dior’s womenswear and I’m very excited to see a fresh, new vision from the house.” [Vogue UK

What Do People Really Think About Simons at Dior