Jonathan Saunders Named Chief Creative Officer of Diane Von Furstenberg

Jonathan Saunders - SQ 2015
David M. Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Harper's Bazaar

The British designer's new position is effective immediately.

The rumors that Jonathan Saunders would be filling the gaping hole left by Raf Simons when he parted ways with Dior have been officially laid to rest.

Diane Von Furstenberg has tapped the British designer as her label's first-ever chief creative officer. In this role, Saunders will have complete control over the creative direction of the brand and report directly to CEO Paolo Riva. 

“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," said Von Furstenberg in a release. "I could not have found a cooler, more intelligent designer and I cannot wait to watch him shine as our chief creative officer.”

With the help of Riva, who joined DVF in 2015, Von Furstenberg has been working to modernize the brand she launched in 1970 — most notably by forgoing a traditional runway show in February of this year, instead opting to show her spring collection in a social media-friendly showroom concept.

“The spirit with which this brand was founded is incredibly relevant today," said Saunders in a release. "I am thrilled to be part of its next chapter."

Saunders joins DVF after shuttering his 12-year-old eponymous label — which was a favorite of style stars from Lady Gaga to Kate Middleton to Olivia Palermo — in December 2015. At the time, the British designer cited personal reasons as the motivation for closing his line, however the move makes a bit more sense in light of his new gig.

In addition to his own label, Saunders worked as a consultant for Chloe and Pucci. Immediately following his graduation from Central Saint Martins in 2002, the designer was commissioned to create a bird of paradise print for Alexander McQueen. He has since garnered praise for his use of prints and silk screen printing techniques.