Following yesterday's confirmation that Jil Sander and Raf Simons would be parting ways, the company has just confirmed to WWD, officially, that Jil Sander will return to the label she founded 44 years ago. "I am very happy and excited to be back," she told the paper. "It feels like coming home after a brief journey."
According to a separate WWD report, retailers are happy about the news, suggesting that the label might have more commercial success with Sander at the helm, even if Raf Simons' collections were always beloved by critics.
While we're bummed to see him go (and especially curious to see what he sends down the runway tomorrow), we thought he'd make an interesting successor to Galliano at Dior--he was reportedly in negotiations to take the reins at the French house just a couple of months ago. However, it's looking more and more like that's not happening. WWD writes,
However, it is understood the parties failed to reach an agreement and it appears unlikely Simons will join the French firm.
So where's he going and what is going on with Dior?
Anna Dello Russo (who is always full of surprises) may have been right on the money yesterday when she told us that instead of going to Dior, Simons may instead focus on his own namesake menswear line and (hopefully) add womenswear too.
WWD also points out that Stefano Pilati's contract with YSL runs out in a month. Rumors that Simons would replace Pilati at the French fashion house caused a similar fashion month media frenzy back in September, but were quickly extinguished when both parties confirmed that contracts with their respective houses would prevent such a takeover from happening. That is until now...
So while all of that is up in the air, will Dior ever find a successor?? According to WWD, maybe not. Sources told the trade that because of commercial (but certainly not critical) success under Bill Gaytten, Dior is "mulling continuing with a team approach, possibly adding some young, up-and-coming talents." We won't hold our breath.