PARIS - LVMH's Dior on Thursday said Raf Simons was leaving after more than three years at the creative helm of the fashion brand to develop his own eponymous label. "It is a decision, based entirely on my desire to focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand," Simons said in a statement.
Simons' surprise departure comes after creative director Alexander Wang left Kering's Balenciaga fashion brand last month for the same reason.
Dior said Simons' collection shown earlier this month during Paris Fashion Week would be his last. It did not say who would replace him.
In his statement, the Belgian designer thanked Dior Chief Executive Sidney Toledano for his leadership adding his "thoughtful, heartfelt and inspired management will also remain as one of the most important experience of my professional career." Dior's comparable sales growth decelerated in the quarter to Sep. to 5 per cent from 8 per cent the previous quarter. They reached a total of 1.7 billion euros (S$2.6 billion) in the year to June 30.
Simons, who previously worked for fashion house Jil Sander, had joined Dior after a long search for a successor to John Galliano who was sacked in after a drunken anti-Semitic outburst in a Paris bar in 2011.
Galliano has since been rehabilitated through his work for privately held fashion house Maison Martin Margiela, part of Diesel owner OTB group.