His appointment ends a year-long search for a successor to Galliano, who was forced to resign when he was videoed delivering an anti-Semitic rant in a Paris bar.
As artistic director, Simons is likely to have oversight of Christian Dior’s advertising as well as designing women’s Haute Couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections.
Simons says: “It is with the utmost respect for its tremendous history, its unparalleled knowledge and craftsmanship that I am joining the magnificent house of Dior. Mr Christian Dior has always been for me the most inspiring couturier.
“Around the globe, the name Dior symbolises the ultimate in elegance and refinement. I am truly humbled and honoured to become artistic director of the most celebrated Frenchhouse in the world.”
Dior’s first choice for the job was believed to be Marc Jacobs but it is understood that discussions between the two broke down over money and a request from Jacobs to bring his entire creative team with him.
The first Christian Dior Haute Couture collection created by Simons will be presented in Paris in July.