Raf Simons and Calvin Klein have officially parted ways. According to Business of Fashion, the now-former Creative Chief Officer and brand came to a mutual conclusion to sever ties, effective immediately. Simons was with the company for less than two years, and had over eight months left in his contract when the decision was announced.
“Both parties have amicably decided to part ways after Calvin Klein Inc. decided on a new brand direction which differs from Simons’s creative vision,” the brand announced in a statement. The Belgian designer’s high-end approach, which worked wonders during his stints at Jil Sander and Dior, apparently was not working in favor of the company, as they reported a $21 million loss in year-over-year sales, which they blame on the hefty marketing budget. Emmanuel Chirico, chairman of CK parent company PVH, also stated that Simon’s styles were “too elevated and too fashion-forward” for their core commercial consumer, which could also be a contribution to their staggering loss in sales.
Simons’s appointment to Calvin Klein in 2016 was met with wild appraisal, as the designer had a reputation for resonating with consumers through the invigorating aesthetic he brought to haute couture. While this may be considered a major blow to Simon’s nearly-perfect image, Calvin Klein’s runway show is the one with the biggest blow: the brand announced that due to his early departure, they will be cancelling their February show during New York Fashion Week. There is no word yet on who will be taking on the role of Creative Chief Officer at Calvin Klein, or where Simons will be headed to next, but the brand announced that they will be refocusing their marketing campaigns and go back to their mass-marketing roots to appeal to their mainstream audience once again.