Why we love Raf Simons
Raf Simons, Jil Sander, Dior, and Calvin Klein are four brands that were driven by Raf Simons. By working in each of them, in one way or another, he breathed new life into them and at the same time changed the fashion industry. On the designer’s birthday, we recall his main achievements.
Because today we know Raf Simons as one of the best designers of the generation, the world owes Walter van Beirendonk. A native of a tiny Belgian village, Simons could concentrate his work in the field of industrial design, which he studied in college. From 1991 to 1993, Raf was an intern at the studio of the aforementioned member of the Antwerp Six. Together with Walter Simons went to Paris Fashion Week, and the first show of the novice designer was a completely white show Maison Martin Margiela. Having made a lasting impression, this show inspired Raf to engage in fashion design. No less important for Simons was the work of Helmut Lang.
In 1995, Raf Simons founded the eponymous brand of men's clothing. The main themes of his collections were and remain street culture and rebellious aesthetics. He was not interested in business and glamor. The main sources of inspiration were the young people he met on the streets. These were simple guys who had a great sense of style.
Raf Simons Spring-Summer 2002
Simons shows his passion for street style on Parisian catwalks. He was one of the first who decided to land high French fashion. His spring-summer 2002 collection, Woe Onto Those Who Spit on the Fear Generation … The Wind Will Blow It Back, today is considered one of the most iconic in his work. Models in balaclavas, dressed from head to toe in white and red, T-shirts with slogans and barefoot walked along the catwalk with torches in their hands.
“I thought this collection was the end of my career,” Simons recalled later. But everything turned out exactly the opposite – he continued to change the industry. Rough was one of the first to combine graphic design and fashion. Unknown Pleasures Joy Division – cover artwork by Peter Savill. What was the surprise when Simons in 2003 created a collection based on illustrations specially created by Saville.
Jil Sander Spring-Summer 2011
Raf is a big fan of minimalism, only in his interpretation the style looks special. The expressive means of Simons are concise and simple, precise and clear, but his clothes never look boring. At Jil Sander, he managed to realize his vision of style. He added volume to strict silhouettes, and diluted the clean palette with bright colors. Without changing the philosophy, he managed to create a new brand image.
Frame from the film "Dior and Me"
In 2011, Simons took over as Dior Creative Director, replacing John Galliano. Thanks to the work done in the French House, Simons secured the status of one of the most sought-after designers of our time. His time at the French Fashion House was limited but productive. Raf set a new creative mood in Dior. His first couture collection was created in eight weeks, although usually such work requires at least six months. Simons first made the ambassador Dior a black woman singer Rihanna. Many of his achievements in the Fashion House were not known to a wide audience, but the talent of the designer paid off: Dior sales grew by 34%!
Calvin Klein spring-summer 2018
When Simons was appointed Creative Director of Calvin Klein in 2016, his first collection was awaited as the next season of Game of Thrones. The expectation fully paid off – to the Bowie song Thisisnot America, models walked along the catwalk in clothes made in the beloved minimalist style. Over two years of work in the American fashion giant, Simons managed to make the brand a national treasure, but no matter how it seemed from the very beginning, Rough and Calvin Klein were not a couple.
Simons is a fan of criticizing fashion business. He is not afraid to express his thoughts on the framework into which designers are often driven. Even when he was working at Dior, he considered fashion to be too “poppy”: “Perhaps it was better when the fashion was something more elitist. Today, high fashion is available to everyone. ” Simons always without fear brought to life his own artistic vision, and in the same Calvin Klein did not at all limit or restrain his creative impulses. However, the numbers showed a drop in sales, and Raf Simons, no matter how much he loved the fashionable public, again turned out to be a chamber designer, not for everyone.
Raf Simons made a video for The XX