Jonathan Saunders joins Diane von Furstenberg as Chief Creative Officer

Diane von Furstenberg has appointed a new creative director...

And in today’s most unexpected fashion news, Diane von Furstenberg has appointed a new Chief Creative Officer to helm her empire – and it’s none other than British fashion’s king of colour, Jonathan Saunders.

The surprise appointment will see Jonathan take on a newly created role within Diane’s company, leading the overall creative direction of the brand and allowing the fashion legend herself to focus on philanthropy, mentoring and the overall direction of the business.

Jonathan shuttered his eponymous label in December citing ‘personal reasons’, his spring 2016 London Fashion Week show being the last to go into production. As one of fashion’s friendliest faces, he was sorely missed at the last round of catwalk shows. But far from going into hiding, it seems Jonathan had other, much bigger plans all along.


Madonna, Sienna Miller and Michelle Obama have all been fans of Saunders’ unique handling of colour and his flattering, super-womanly dress cuts, an aesthetic that he is sure to build on at DVF, a house renowned for its sooo Seventies prints and, of course, its iconic wrap dress. His final solo collection (shown in the gallery above) was a riot of print and colour and even contained variations of wrap and slip dresses. Was he preparing for this role all that time? If not, it’s a sign of a pretty perfect pairing to come.

‘Jonathan’s extraordinary passion for colors and prints, his effortless designs, and his desire to make women feel beautiful make him the perfect creative force to lead DVF into the future,’ Diane said in a statement released this afternoon. ‘I could not have found a cooler, more intelligent designer and I cannot wait to watch him shine as our chief creative officer.’

Rumours had been swirling that the Scottish designer was bound to take the top job at Dior after Raf Simons left back in October. Twitter went into overdrive in March when an anonymous source shared what we now know were Photoshopped images of the designer standing in front of the Dior logo – all very cryptic, but an indication of just how high the stakes are when there’s movement at the top of fashion’s biggest houses.

‘The spirit with which this brand was founded is incredibly relevant today, I am thrilled to be part of its next chapter,’ said Jonathan of his new role. ‘Diane has a unique ability to deeply connect with women and I am excited to be working with Paolo [CEO Paolo Riva] on the future of the brand.’

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