The New York Times' Suzy Menkes review of Raf Simons' spring 2012 show for Jil Sander opens with a startling piece of news: that the designer is set to take the reins at Yves Saint Laurent, replacing Stefano Pilati as head designer.
The news is doubly surprising since Pilati's dismissal has not yet been announced, although the designer is reportedly hard to work with and rumors about his ousting have been swirling for quite some time now. In February we reported that Pilati was rumored to be out--and named Raf Simons as a front runner to replace him.
While nothing has been confirmed by either Simons or Yves Saint Laurent, the fact that this rumor is coming from Suzy Menkes, who has been covering the industry for the paper of record for years, means it's likely true. At the very least, it would seem that the designer, who Menkes says, "certainly has earned an audition for that position," is in talks with the brand. Raf Simons has certainly proved himself ready for the job after the last few truly exceptional couture-inspired collections he's churned out for Jil Sander (our review and gallery coming soon).
New York fashion week was dominated by buzz of Marc Jacob's potential move to Christian Dior. And as Paris quickly approches, it looks like the fashion industry will have one more designer change-up story to gossip about.
Update: In a recent interview with Fantastic Man (Simons is on the cover), the designer may have been hinting at his (alleged) new gig: "Raf is candid as to who he is in talks with and which other designer jobs at various luxury houses he has been offered," though the writer Gert Jonkers says, "[Simons] prefaces these chats with the word 'confidentially'"
Could this mean that Raf has, indeed, been "in talks" with Yves Saint Laurent for quite some time now?