The Raf Simons Effect! Christian Dior Couture Sales Rise 24% in 2012

Haute Couture houses are notoriously discreet about their clientele, rarely releasing any hard sales figures. We're simply left guessing how many people are actually buying these dresses which can go for £50,000 a pop. The feathers, the froth, the hefty price tag - seriously who is buying these gowns?

Well someone certainly is, as Christian Dior Couture have announced that they have had a 24 per cent rise in sales in 2012. WWD have reported that between 1 January and 31 December sales totalled 1.24 billion euros, with all lines contributing to the rise in sales. 'These results reaffirm the exceptional quality of Dior’s products and the powerful appeal of its stores,' the company stated.

So why the sharp rise in sales? It's gotta have something to do with the genius Mr Raf Simons who was appointed as the creative director in 2012. He has wiped clean John Galliano's OTT trademark, and created gowns which are streamlined and minimalist and are (shock horror) actually wearable. Raf's couture is luxurious, yes, but you would also be able to wear it in real life and not look completely bonkers. Remember, this is the man who paired show-stopping skirts with plain white t-shirts at Jil Sander creating sophisticated modern-day couture.

The Raf Simons Effect! Christian Dior Couture Sales Rise 24% in 2012

John Galliano's eccentric couture vs Raf Simons' minimalist aesthetic

Before his first collection, Raf told the New York Times, "My aim is a very modern Dior, but at the end of the day, I also look back. I find that period between 1947 and 1957 extremely attractive, and there was a lot of modernity."

John Galliano's couture saw plastic wrapper hats and mounds of rainbow tulle, while Raf aims for elegance rather then eccentricity. This practical aesthetic has been critically adored as the past two couture collections have received sparkling reviews which has translated into a very healthy economic year for Christian Dior.

The rise in sales could also have something to do with the Dior darlings who have been wearing Raf's couture on the red carpet recently, as Jennifer Lawrence and Marion Cotillard both wore Dior Couture to the SAGs AND the Golden Globes.

See some of the best moments from Raf Simons' year at Dior in the gallery above...

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