Raf Simons

Raf Simons

Christian Dior Couture sales have increased by 24 per cent.

The fashion house's total sales for 2012 rose to €1.24 billion (£1.07 billion), almost a one-quarter growth on 2011, mainly thanks to the success of Raf Simons' debut haute couture collection - and the company is delighted with the results.

A Christian Dior spokesperson: "These results reaffirm the exceptional quality of Dior's products and the powerful appeal of its stores."

The creative director - who was appointed in April 2012 following the dismissal of John Galliano - produced his first collection for the company for the haute couture autumn/winter 2012 season.

Raf recently admitted he wants to take Dior back to its roots and turn it into the brand which is "worn on the street" to move on from Galliano's dramatic aesthetic.

He said: "Dior's ultimate obsession is that he wanted [the public] to wear it. I want them to wear it on the street. If it doesn't relate to the outside, then it would be very theatrical for me."

But the Belgian designer also insisted he won't steer away from the brand's feminine history, despite being keen to bring his own vision to the label.

He explained: "I don't think it's wrong to call me a minimalist. It's wrong to call me a minimalist only. I am also a romantic person. My main inspiration will be femininity ... because it's beautiful, endless and permanent.

"I'm interested in creativity, the evolution of creativity and the relationship between creativity and the times we live in. When I'm married to a house, I will fully embrace its original intention, its original heritage and meaning. I wouldn't go to that place if I only had minimalism in mind. I'm very aware of what the environment is about."