Spring always seems to be a good time to refresh your wardrobe – and for fashion designers, a good time to step away and move on. Although the womenswear shows are still happening as we speak, with the great unveil of autumn/winter looks, a number of surprising departures have just been announced. This week, rocking the fashion boat was creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, Stefano Pilati, who will be stepping down from his position after the conclusion of the womenswear show in Paris next week. Pilati, who took over the role from Yves Saint Laurent himself, has held the portfolio at YSL for eight years. Luxury giant PPR, who owns YSL as well as Gucci, Bottega Veneta as well as Brioni, will be announcing a new creative director in the coming weeks. The hot favourite for the spot is Hedi Slimane, former creative director of Dior Homme and now working as a photographer. Several creative director roles are currently empty. The role that John Galliano formerly occupied at Dior remains conspicuously empty, despite previous rumours that the LVMH group had intentions to move Marc Jacobs to the role (Jacobs has clarified that he will be remaining at Louis Vuitton). Even more shocking was the news in the last week that Raf Simons, one of the famous Antwerp Six, would be leaving Jil Sander. Ms Sander has returned to claim her throne once again, and we can expect to be highly minimalist, sharply tailored suits from the fashion house. The house-hopping is certainly keeping young and upcoming designers on their toes, wondering if they will be the next in line to have the opportunity to shine. See the conclusion of the Raf Simons show below. Video courtesy of MichouTelegraaf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=wy6fjdcgwxw
*Update: Raf Simons will be taking over the empty throne of Dior now that he has departed Jil Sander. Simons will be in charge of Dior’s Haute Couture, Ready-to-Wear and Women’s Accessories. We expect that should keep him plenty busy. His first collection will show for Haute Couture in July.