Last week we posed the question of what will happen to Bill Gaytten now that Raf Simons has been hired as the creative director at Dior. At the brand's couture show in Shanghai over the weekend, it was made clear that the collection was the last we will see of him at the French house.
This doesn't seem to be something that Sidney Toledano, president and CEO of Dior, seems to be worried about. Rather than focusing on praising Gaytten for the work he's done at the house during this difficult time, his attention centred around the future of the brand under Raf Simons' leadership. Talking to WWD he said that the appointment marks a 'very exciting time' for the brand. 'I always said that te right person would come along when all the strs aligned and that's exactly what happened last week,' he said. '[Simons] has already begun to lay out his vision for where he can take Dior in the future and I think we are all very excited by that vision.'
It's true. Raf Simons at Dior is exciting and there's no doubt that he will flourish there in the same way that he did at Jil Sander. That being said, Toledano's comments must be a hard pill for Gaytten to swallow. He's never disguised the fact that he wanted the big job so to have the attention at his last show pushed in another direction, especially after the fairly good job that he has done under the pressure, must have been difficult.
With the news of Raf Simons' appointment at Dior well and true out and confirmed, the question as The Cut posed is how much Simons knew over these past few months.
It was only in March when the news of his departure (or being forced out as Cathy Horyn put it) from Jil Sander was confirmed that Simons' name was really thrown into the hat of potential candidates to take the reigns at the house so it begs the question; was it only at this stage that the negotiations with Dior began? That conclusion would seem to make sense when you look back at the sequence of events last month. Back in March reports claimed that Simons' had a clash with Dior CEO Sidney Toledano over money yet only a few weeks after the negotiations began the brand announced that the creative director had been secured with an announcement said to come soon. Clearly the negotiations were not as frosty then as the reports had us believe.
According to The Cut, LVMH bosses were concerned about having to compete against Yves Saint Laurent after it was confirmed that Hedi Slimane would replace Stefano Pilati so brought Simons on board to make sure they had a well-celebrated and modern designer on board too. The decision definitely makes sense. Along with Phoebe Philo's work at Celine, Simons is amongst the designers pushing the modern minimalist aesthetic forward, which is something that Slimane has always championed so with all three designers at the helm of such big brands, the competition truly begins.
The fashion musical shares unfortunately shows no sign of slowing down and the Dior situation is the story that just keeps on giving. Yesterday Hint Mag alleged that Bill Gaytten isn't as temporary as we all thought. According to the site, Gaytten has just signed a three year contract to continue serving as creative director.
And that's not all. Like Marc Jacobs, Raf Simons was allegedly offered the job but asked for too much money, which is why Dior CEO Sidney Toledano reportedly decided to keep Gaytten on board.
Despite bosses at John Galliano previously telling WWD that they were confident that the designer will be able to come back from the scandal as Kate Moss did, the reality is far from that ideal. LVMH chief Bernard Arnault confirmed to Cathy Horyn that Galliano will not return, despite her reporting that executives at the conglomertae were 'toying with the idea' of bringing him back. “He will not be working for LVMH,” Arnault explained adding that the designer "didn’t have the simple politeness to contact me” after the story was released.
During the same week that Galliano took to the stand in court to fight his public-defamation trial, Christian Dior CEO Sidney Toledano selected Bill Gaytten to replace the designer at his namesake brand. Gayten, who worked with the designer for 23 years, made his first appearance as the brand's creative director last week at their menswear show in Paris. “It’s the same job for me; I’ve been doing it for a long time,” he told WWD . “It was a bit different because John wasn’t there.” In addition to working at John Galliano, Gaytten will also oversee the Christian Dior couture collection too, leading many to speculate that he might have that job in the bag too. After all, he is currently the studio team leader at Dior making him a perfect candidate for the role.