According to my imaginary girlfriend Cathy Horyn, Raf Simons is stepping down as designer of Jil Sander, where he has served as creative director for the past seven years. Simons is celebrated for breathing new life into the minimalist clothing line and has been on a winning streak these past few seasons, critically and commercially. No announcements have been made as to who will replace Simons, though there are apparently rumors that the brand's founder, Ms. Sander, will return to her eponymous label.
This news is pretty epic as Simons's work has been lauded for several seasons now and he was even rumored to be in talks to take over Dior after Galliano was dismissed early last year. It's assumed that Simons will remain in charge of his own namesake label, but this move seems curious, and I'd bet that his presence will appear at a different label--which one, though, is hard to guess.
The fall 2012 Jil Sander show, to be presented in Milan on Saturday, will be Simons's last.