The Belgian designer Raf Simons put an end to a 27-year history by publishing his farewell to the men’s brand that bears his name. The Spring/Summer 2023 collection, presented in London in October, is the brand’s latest collection.
The fashion label was launched in 1995, despite a modest business operation, and has gained a legion of loyal fans over the years, including celebrities and other fashionistas, due to its “edgy,” forward-thinking vibe. At your time.
“I have no words to share how proud I am of all we have accomplished. I am grateful for the incredible support from my team, partners, press, buyers, friends and family, and our dedicated fans and loyal supporters. Thank you all for believing in our vision and believe in me”, thanked the designer.
Raf ended his message with an invitation at the height of the vision that Raf Simons transmitted on the catwalks: “Forward, always.”
Master of Eternal Youth
Over the years, his forays into the youth culture of the moment, his meticulous study and incorporation of references from musical movements to menswear and haute couture, have given rise to successful streetwear brands, such as Off-White.
Although the reciprocity did not turn out to be true, Virgil Abloh, the founder of the brand, was obsessed with Ruff’s work. To “Vogue America” in 2014, the designer, who died last year, said that he had already been collecting and studying the Belgian’s creations for ten years.
“I think what drew me to his work was his intellectual insight into today’s culture. His approach is rooted in reality. His early designs are a social commentary on being young.”
Virgil wasn’t alone: A$AP Rocky and Rihanna, long before they were a couple, shared their love of Raf’s work.
Even before Balenciaga made voluminous bomber jackets, a hit from Sabrina Sato to Kim Kardashian, the Raf model was already conquering the singer and other fashionistas on the streets between 2016 and 2017.
Unique and Imitable
Very soon he tires of the fashion that he seems to drink from his work as a source.
At Vogue Runway, Marc Jacobs celebrated what he deemed the “Blade Runner movie experience” at his spring 2018 show with a unique collection that featured colorful knitting and sewing elements, the latter also seen the following year.
For The Hollywood Reporter, Ruff justified: “We need a new mold, a new look because there are so many hoodies and prints. Something has to change.” It’s not a move I haven’t made before.
In the Opposite Direction
In 1997, in the heyday of long leather jackets, jeans and baggy pants, the designer brought a fall collection of slender shapes and delicate structures with references to school uniforms to the runway.
Turn Up the Volume
The following year, he did one of the many explicit spins on the musical universe that inspired him (in the hues or patterns of his pieces, step back and note Joy Division’s homage to the parachute in 2018) and showcased a collection inspired by the members. of the German electronic band Kraftwerk.
Protest Over the Pedestrian Bridge
In 2001, Raff expressed his connection to the rebellious Ukrainian and Romanian youth protesting in Vienna with his Fall/Winter 2002 collection called “Riot! Riot! Riot!” (or “Rebellion! Rebellion! Rebellion!)”, as the Masks graced the platform as much as social action teams like Sonic Youth.
In that time, the one-piece jacket, the group’s bomber jacket, has become one of the most sought-after pieces in the industry, selling for $47,000.
Finally, for the Autumn/Winter 2009 collection, the designer returned to creating statuesque neoprene jackets, some fitted to the body with boleros, anticipating the “Mod” and at the same time futuristic stripes for the tailoring of the next decade, a choice that the photographer Tommy Tone has already described that it conveys the sensation of a kiss, first for precision.
Farewell to the revolutionary brand of Raf Simons. The visionary, as he himself pointed out, continues the creative direction (since 2020) as Miuccia’s partner at Prada.