Raf Simons will be looking to the past for inspiration in his new role as Christian Dior's artistic director.

The Belgian sartorialist was recently named as John Galliano's successor at the French fashion house and while he wants to put his own mark on the collections, he is keen to pay tribute to the label's history.

He 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. There was the romantic appeal looking back to his mother and the belle epoque, but there was also a constant Evolution in shape, changing proportions and the ideas connected to the World War were revolutionary.''

Simons - who was previously creative director at Jil Sander - said he was thrilled to be given the Dior job as he has always been an admirer of the company.

He said: ''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 French house in the world.''