After 27 years, Raf Simons will shut his eponymous label, the Belgian designer introduced in an Instagram put up this night. Based in 1995, the cult Antwerp-based label melded the power of youth and counter-cultural actions with a exact, minimalist method to chop and silhouette; within the years since, Simons has continued the label alongside stints at Jil Sander, Dior and Calvin Klein. He’s at present co-creative director of Prada alongside Miuccia Prada, a task he’ll proceed.
The announcement marks his S/S 2023 present – a co-ed outing proven at London nightclub Printworks – as his remaining assortment. ‘The Spring/Summer time 2023 assortment is the conclusion of a rare 27-year journey and the ultimate season of the Raf Simons model,’ he wrote within the Instagram put up. ‘I lack the phrases to share how proud I’m of all that now we have achieved. I’m grateful for the unimaginable assist from my crew, from my collaborators, from the press crew and patrons, and from our devoted followers and dependable followers.’
Certainly, Simons’ label has a cult following each inside and outdoors of the style trade, greatest evidenced by a thriving resale market of his most memorable designs (in 2020, in a challenge titled ‘Archive Redux’, he reissued 100 items from his archive). Collaboration was additionally on the coronary heart of his course of, working carefully with Belgian compatriots photographer Willy Vanderperre, stylist Olivier Rizzo, and make-up artist Peter Philips all through his profession (every studied at Royal Academy Antwerp), whereas additionally engaged on collaborative initiatives with manufacturers together with Fred Perry, Kvadrat, Eastpak, Adidas and extra.
The Raf Simons studio additionally ushered within the careers of a brand new era of designers who labored for the Antwerp-based label, together with Pieter Mulier, present inventive director of Alaïa, and Matthieu Blazy, present inventive director of Bottega Veneta. Quite a few different designers have cited his affect, and Simons additionally maintained shut hyperlinks with the artwork world; most memorably, he created an A/W 2014 assortment with Sterling Ruby, whereby each Simons’ and the American artist’s identify appeared within the label.
The designer’s remaining assortment, which was titled ‘Corps, Coda’ and proven throughout London’s Frieze week, seemed in the direction of the world of dance for inspiration. ‘The power of dance, the influence of the physique… a celebration,’ the notes described of the gathering, which featured cut-off ballet tights, romper fits and sweaters which replicated the form of an undone leotard. ‘Naked, spare, reduce away, stripped again… a discount to an essence, to important type.’
Few may have predicted the blockbuster present – attended by over 1000 attendees, together with milliner Stephen Jones and Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli – can be his final. ‘Ahead all the time,’ the designer signed off.
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