French fashion house Christian Dior has announced that creative director Raf Simons will be leaving the brand. No replacement has been named.
"It is after careful and long consideration that I have decided to leave my position as creative director of Christian Dior’s women’s collection," the designer, 47, said in a statement.
The designer is stepping down as creative director of the brand
"It is a decision based entirely and equally on my desire to focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand, and the passions that drive me outside my work.
"Christian Dior is an extraordinary company, and it has been an immense privilege to write a few pages of this magnificent book."
Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of the brand, and Sydney Toledano, the CEO, said they "acknowledge Raf Simons' decision and very warmly thank him for his exceptional contribution to the house."
Raf joined Christian Dior in Aoril 2012
Raf has been credited with bringing Dior's rich heritage into the 21st century, updating the brand's classic shapes and styles with more modern materials and silhouettes.
This marks the second surprise designer exit at Dior in recent years, following the 2011 dismissal of John Galliano following an incident involving an anti-semitic outburst from the designer.
It's been quite the year for changes within the fashion industry – Alexander Wang recently left his post at Balenciaga, while Donna Karan stepped down at her namesake brand.