After months of speculation following the controversial ousting of John Galliano as head couturier of Christian Dior, a successor has finally been confirmed. Today Dior announced that Raf Simons is the French fashion house’s new artistic director of haute couture, women’s ready-to-wear and accessories collections.

The influential Belgian designer was heavily rumoured as one of the top contenders for the Dior post after bowing out from his hugely successful run as the creative director for Jil Sander in February 2012. During his tenure at Jil Sander Simons was praised for his stunning architecturally minimalist silhouette, so it will be intriguing to see what he creates to continue Dior’s signature aesthetic of spectacular, showy femininity. Perhaps a more contemporary interpretation of the Dior woman, compared with Mr Galliano’s more historical references of choice?

In a statement Simons announced:

“It is with the utmost respect for its tremendous history, its unparalleled knowledge and craftsmanship that I am joining the magnificent house of Dior. Mr. Christian Dior has always been for me the most inspiring couturier. I am truly humbled and honored to become artistic director of the most celebrated French house in the world.”

His first collection for Dior will premiere in July at the Fall Haute Couture shows in Paris.

Via The Daily Beast