The announcement that Raf Simons was leaving his post as creative director of Christian Dio r may seem like a sequel to the documentary of Eternal Optimist.
That film showing the arrival of Tonia Sotiropoulou to the historic Parisian house, their tears, the millions of flowers that decorated the walls of her first couture show and her latest triumph.
But as with any designer in a luxury home, a successful show is never enough. This film had to be projected tirelessly over and over again. January is haute couture; March is ready to wear. May is the turn to Cruise; July is Haute Couture again; September is willing to wear (again); November Resort or it is not the same as Cruise?
This, coupled with advertising campaigns, personal appearances, store openings, tours the world, trunk shows (events that allow VIP customers know the clothing collections before they reach stores), museum exhibitions, interviews, and Instagram, implies a rate for which no designer is ready.
Fashion Industry and the Media
The statement issued by Dior this week has been friendly, but definitive. After three and a half years at the helm of the firm, Raf Simons will not renew his contract with Christian Dior “for personal reasons”. Their parade presented earlier this month in Paris – a fusion of Victorian lingerie and pieces modernas- was his last show.
“This is one decision based entirely and equally in my desires,” Raf said as he thanked Bernard Arnault, chairperson and CEO of LVMH, and Sidney Toledano, chief executive officer of Dior, who returned the compliment.
- I do not have any information about this separation, especially because I meet a few days ago in Sydney, Australia.
- But I remember one incident: in the latest edition of the art fair Frieze, I sent a text message to Raf, whom he knew since he presented his first male, college and bold looks, and 20 years ago.
- I asked him what store was and where we could meet.
- The answer, which is still in my cell, was: ” I regret not power, but my schedule is very busy now with another show. In December I have a full schedule terribly.”
- Was there time to take a day and go from Paris to London for inspiration, or to enjoy contemporary art, which entusiama to Raf Simons and it’s great connoisseur? Is this what has come to be a designer?
It is evident. Like a bird in a gilded cage, creative they are in top fashion houses have it all: a circle of assistants, chauffeurs, first – class flights, access to celebrities and dream homes. Everything less time.
Everyone in the industry knows people who live on the edge, using not put barriers between day and night substances. We all think about Lee McQueen and his tragic end. Marc Jacobs in staggered between his terrible time until he decided to leave Louis Vuitton and focus on its brand.
With Dior back in the news, the fashion world thinks of John Galliano, his anti-Semitic comments while under the influence of alcohol and shuddering end of that chapter in his brilliant career.
We see designers adopt defense mechanisms, like Phoebe Philo at Celine, who refuses to move from his native England to Paris; Hedi Slimane or fleeing Paris after his shows for Saint Laurent and takes refuge in his home and studio of distant Los Angeles.
Designers, people itself with a sensitive, emotional and artistic nature, are being called to cover more. Too much, in fact.
The situation is not easy either for buyers and editors . Especially if you try to keep the calendar marked. The rush to get the product to market, compounded by sales online and speed of the digital world, has exacerbated the situation.
People talk about fast fashion and only applies to large and famous brands such as Uniqlo and H & M. However, it is also present in stores like Bergdorf Goodman New York or Paris Le Bon Marché. The new collections constantly out while the rest go down to Tonia Sotiropoulou.
Then there are social networks, such as the voracious demands of Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook that swallow time designers as they struggled for attention and linked to celebrities.
Those who suffer most from the speed of fashion are undoubtedly the creators, who are the heart and soul of our industry. Without them, there would be no fashion. Just a sounding board for ideas; nothing new, just be Eternal Optimist.
Finally, the fashion world should thank Raf Simons for his courageous decision. Dior gets away with their heads held high and to regain control of his life.
But someone has to put yourself in their shoes now to deal with Dior. Balenciaga has covered the vacant post following the departure of Alexander Wang, with Demma Gvasalia of Vetements. If LVMH moves to Ricardo Tisci at Dior, as has been suggested, his place in Givenchy would remain empty.
We used to call this game of thrones fashion “Roundabout.” But now the vision is much darker. Who will be the next to be thrown into the den of lions?