Written by Adam Bryce
With over 25 years’ experience of creating clothes for the man for his eponymous label, Raf Simons is officially branching out.
For a quarter-century, the Belgian designer gained a following unlike no other amongst menswear enthusiasts. His fans, yes fans, are cult-like in their loyalty to the designer. Raf Simons inspired a generation while creating many of the most important moments in the history of the genre.
In 2014, the former creative director of Jil Sander invited film-maker Frédéric Tcheng to document his first collection at the helm of Dior and it transformed Simons from cult menswear hero to a mainstream fashion hero. Dior and I shed a light on how the designer transferred his philosophy from his own menswear line to a large fashion house and, in particular, to womenswear.
Simons was, of course, no womenswear novice when he arrived at Dior. It was his highly acclaimed collections at Jil Sander that helped him gain the initial attention of Dior and his success there went on to see him reinvent Calvin Klein, beginning 2016. He was on a mighty roll.
On hearing the news of Raf Simons womenswear expansion, I was immediately reminded of the reason he left Calvin Klein — the traditional fashion schedule made it impossible to produce collections to the standard he desired. However, with the addition to his own label, Simons may well find himself back in the predicament he trashed in 2018.
By sharing his genius between Raf Simons 2.0 and Prada, where he currently resides as co-creative director, how will the story end?
“I don’t want to show clothes, I want to show my attitude, my past, present and future. I use memories and future visions and try to place them in today’s world.” — Raf Simons.