Raf Simons

Since launching his eponymous label in 1995, Raf Simons has become one of the most prolific menswear designers of his time. A student of industrial and furniture design, Simons created interior pieces for galleries in Belgium while interning for Walter Van Beirendonck, a founding member of the Antwerp Six. It was Van Beirendonck who brought Simons to Martin Margiela’s 1991 all-white show, where he found a distinct interpretation of fashion that changed his perspective of the industry.

Inspired by fringe youth culture and the music of his teenage years (namely Joy Division and Kraftwerk), Simons is self-trained and connects his menswear collections to messages he identifies within these influences, along with the works of his favorite artists such as California-based Sterling Ruby who is a frequent collaborator. Simons has been touted for revolutionizing menswear with an aesthetic that evolved from matured schoolboy and graphic collage prints to low slung trousers. Many of these trends, of which have become reference points in men’s fashion today.

Simons’ work earned him significant recognition and an appointment as the creative director of Jil Sander in 2005, where he would make his first foray into womenswear, and his minimalist sensibilities thrived. In a successive position at Dior, the designer created his first couture collections, debuting to wide acclaim. Currently, the creative director at Calvin Klein, the Belgian designer has moved his own label’s operations Stateside since relocating for his new role.

With his youth-centric focus intact, more recent collections of his eponymous line have brought back components from his early collections incorporated with streetwear pieces. The Spring/Summer 2018 collection was inspired by Blade Runner and Asian cultures, in collaboration with a direct influence of the brand, Joy Division featuring drop-crotch tailored trousers , and t-shirts with the band’s original album art designed by Peter Saville.

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