The month of October saw two high profile departures at top fashion houses that left the industry reeling. Raf Simons stepped down at Dior and Alber Elbaz left Lanvin after fourteen years. In the days that followed, there were employee protests, rumored legal threats and lots of speculation about fashion burnout.
Now, two weeks after news of the first shocking exit, we may finally have some answers. Raf Simons spoke with famed journalist Cathy Horyn over a 6-month period for an interview in System Magazine and their last meeting ended days before his big announcement. Their talk sheds light on Simons’ state of mind during his final year at Dior. He speaks about the lack of a work/life balance, the dizzying speed at which he’s expected to create and his exasperating schedule, all of which left him creatively and emotionally drained.
Here are excerpts from the interview, which appears in the Autumn/Winter 2015 issue of System Magazine:
On the increasingly short prep time for collections:
“You know, we did this collection in three weeks,” he tells me, not defending the show but, rather, stating the reality that now faces high-fashion houses. “Tokyo was also done in three weeks. Actually everything is done in three weeks, maximum five. And when I think back to the first couture show for Dior, in July 2012, I was concerned because we only had eight weeks.” (more…)