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5. Raf Simons, artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessories collections, Christian Dior
It’s been a roller-coaster year for Raf Simons, who went from a tearful farewell after seven years as creative director at Jil Sander to being crowned Dior’s sixth couturier. The Belgian designer has come a long way since bursting onto the scene as a maker of edgy men’s wear infused with youthful angst. Though his debut at Dior during the July couture did not skimp on spectacle, with decor featuring a million fresh flowers and a star-studded front row, Simons proved his minimal aesthetic was intact, showing sleek clothes that promise to steer the august house in a more modernist direction. And his spring rtw show was critically acclaimed for its futuristic takes on Dior’s iconic “bar” jacket and flower shapes.