PARIS — Don’t hold your breath awaiting an announcement of Dior’s next couturier.
The existing in-house studio is to design the spring 2016 couture collection, to be unveiled on the runway in January, and the fall 2016 ready-to-wear range, to be paraded in March, a Dior spokesman confirmed to WWD on Wednesday.
The house, which last December staged a show in Tokyo for its pre-fall 2015 range, is to show pre-fall 2016 to select editors and retailers by appointment next month.
It is understood Dior does not plan to identify any members of its team, as it did in the wake of the 2011 expulsion of John Galliano.
Dior rebounded unscathed from that shock and would go on to post strong sales growth in the post-Galliano period, with his second-in-command Bill Gaytten taking the reins and plying ladylike, Fifties-inflected elegance until Raf Simons was recruited in April 2012 and steered the brand in a more modernist direction. Galliano went on to become creative director of Maison Margiela in 2014, while Gaytten now devotes himself to the John Galliano brand, still controlled by Dior.
As reported, Simons resigned from Dior last November, citing a wish to “focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand, and the passions that drive me outside my work.”
The separation was described as amicable on both sides after Simons and the company failed to reach agreement on a new employment contract. One of the Belgian designer’s key deputies, Pieter Mulier, also quietly exited the company in recent weeks, market sources said.
Dior has a sizable design studio, and in recent years had divided it into dedicated teams for spring and fall collections in an effort to allow for a longer period of creation and incubation, and greater specialization.
The luxury firm has been mum on its succession plan and is said to be taking its time in its search for a successor to Simons, confident the house can continue its expansion drive in the interim without a star designer.