Dior's new man

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Writer

Christian Dior has announced Raf Simons as its new head couturier and artistic director of womenswear. An announcement we've been waiting over a year for since former artistic director John Galliano was ousted from the maison. Galliano was dismissed over controversial anti-semitic remarks he made at a Paris café last March

The appointment marks the end of a long search for the maison's most vied-after position. Designer Marc Jacobs was first in talks to make the move from sister company Louis Vuitton, but those negotiations eventually fell through. Simons is the sixth couturier at Dior following in the footsteps of the maison's founder himself Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfrano Ferré and John Galliano. He is also the second Belgian designer to join the current roster along with Dior Homme's head designer Kris Van Assche.

Hailing from the city of Neerpelt, Belgium, Simons earned a degree in industrial and furniture design before shifting to fashion desighn and launching his first men's collection in 1995. His minimalist style made waves at his previous post at Jil Sander (he was ousted from the label in February and replaced with Jil Sander herself). In its announcement on Monday Dior described Simons as "one of today’s greatest talents who would propel [Dior’s] iconic style into the 21st century.”His first collection will debut at Paris couture week in July.

See Raf Simon's last Jil Sander collection: spring/summer 2012

The story behind the Lady Dior bag