After months of speculation, Raf Simons has finally been named as the new creative director at Christian Dior.
The Belgian designer, who began his career as a furniture designer, will present his first show for the renowned fashion house in July.
Forty-four-year-old Raf designed for minimalist Jil Sander from 2005 until February of this year, and has since been rumoured as a candidate for the coveted position.
CLICK ON PHOTO FOR GALLERY OF RAF SIMONS DESIGNS FOR JIL SANDER
He is replacing John Galliano, who was dismissed from the French fashion house after in March 2011 after a controversial video tape went viral.
A statement from Dior said Raf will serve as artistic director for haute couture, ready-to-wear and women’s accessories.
It praised him as “one of the greatest current talents” and said he will “inspire and propel into the 21st century” the style carried on by the prestigious house since its creation in 1946.
"It is with the utmost respect for its tremendous history, its unparalleled knowledge and craftsmanship that I am joining the magnificent house of Dior," Raf said on Monday.
"Mr Christian Dior has always been for me the most inspiring couturier. Around the globe, the name Dior symbolises the ultimate in elegance and refinement. I am truly humbled and honoured to become artistic director of the most celebrated French house in the world."
February’s Milan show marked his finale for Jil Sander. He shed tears as he took a second curtain call to standing ovations (above).
Raf’s career commenced in 1995 with a move from furniture to menswear.
He then took a sabbatical and ended up as professor of the fashion department at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna in 2000.
He held this position until 2005 when he was appointed creative director ofJil Sander.