Less than two years since his appointment as chief creative officer, Raf Simons is leaving Calvin Klein, effective immediately with 8 months still left on his contract. The designer, who first joined the American brand in August 2016, prior his spell as artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready to wear and accessories at Dior, has ‘amicably parted ways’ with the designer. “Both parties have amicably decided to part ways after Calvin Klein Inc. decided on a new brand direction which differs from Simons’ creative vision,” said parent company PVH in a statement. The brand will not hold a show in February as previously scheduled.
There were rumours, despite Simons’ honours he picked up at his time, including three CFDA awards for womenswear and menswear, that the brand’s performance was not what they had expected. Simons rebrand – Calvin Klein 205W39NYC had failed to bring the high profits. Emanuel Chirico, chairman and CEO of CK’s parent company PVH was disappointed with the sales performance expressing that the clothing was “too elevated and too fashion-forward for our core consumer.”
The brand’s focus had shifted, with Simons coming in and reimagining the next stage for the All-American brand. His recent brand campaigns with well-known figures such as Milly Bobby Brown, the Kardashian-Jenner group and A$AP Rocky was a change from Calvin Klein’s usual tone. His partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation was seen as too arty for their audience.
“While many of the product categories performed well, we are disappointed by the lack of return on our investments in our Calvin Klein 205W39NYC halo business and believe that some of the Calvin Klein Jeans relaunched product was too elevated and did not sell through as well as we planned. As we move into 2019, we believe the consumer will increasingly feel more connected to the brand as we offer a more commercial product and marketing experience to capture the long-term opportunity for our Calvin Klein business. Chirico said in his third-quarter report.
It is reported that Raf Simons will still present his namesake brand during February.