Designer Raf Simons and Calvin Klein Inc. announced Friday that Simons will leave his position as the fashion brand’s chief creative officer.
As a result, Calvin Klein won’t show during New York Fashion Week in February.
Speculation about Simons’ likely departure had been in the news in recent weeks. In the Friday announcement, the Belgian-born fashion designer and Calvin Klein said the decision was friendly.
The fashion brand, which was started by its namesake designer in 1968, is said to be going in a new direction that differs from Simons’ plans.
Simons, who previously had a three-year stint as creative director at Christian Dior, was hired at Calvin Klein in hopes that he would give the magic touch to the storied brand. He reportedly had eight months left on his Calvin Klein contract.
During his brief time at Calvin Klein, Simons’ fashion shows and looks were considered artistically intriguing and lauded by fashion journalists. However, those collections, which regularly pulled from art, Americana, pop culture and cinema, didn’t catch on commercially. The label’s spring/summer 2019 collection, shown in New York in September and conceived by Simons, touched on two film classics: Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” (1977) and Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate” (1967).
Prior to Simons’ arrival, Calvin Klein, which is owned by New York-based PVH Corp., had largely focused on sales of items such as jeans, underwear and fragrances. According to PVH’s website, the Calvin Klein brands, including the high-end Calvin Klein 205 W39 NYC label, made about $9.1 billion in 2017.
A new chief creative director for Calvin Klein wasn’t named Friday in the announcement.
Here’s a look back at The Times’ recent reviews of Simons’ collections for Calvin Klein: