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Raf Simons new artistic director of Calvin Klein: 5 things to know about this inspired designer

 

Ever since he left Dior rumours have been rife about his imminent appointment at Calvin Klein, before being officially confirmed in this summer. Numéro looks at five things we should all know about this revered designer.

Officially appointed on August 2nd to head up Calvin Klein as Chief Creative Officer, Raf Simons will be driving “the creative strategy of the entire Calvin Klein brand, from the Calvin Klein collections, Calvin Klein Platinum and Calvin Klein Jeans to Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Home.” He will supervise all aspects of design, marketing, communications and visual creativity.

Jill Sander fall-winter 2011

 

1. MINIMALISM REINVENTED

 

Influenced in part by his fellow Belgian Martin Margiela, whose show he willingly admits once moved him to tears, Raf Simons first emerged in the 1990s, an era dominated by Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein and Jil Sander. His sense of pure, graphic lines soon set him apart, not to mention his block colours perfectly devoid of any superfluous details. During his time at Jil Sander (2005 – 2012) he single-handedly reinvented the house. He continued to exhibit his talents at Dior with his reconsidered Bar volumes and toned down evening gowns, occasionally worn over trousers. Now we can’t wait to see what he does at Calvin Klein: will it be a home-coming closer to the original style of the brand’s founder

Raf Simons spring-summer 2016

 

2. STREETWEAR ON THE CATWALKS

 

Off-White, Hood By Air and Vetements owe a lot to him. Ever since he started his eponymous menswear label in 1995, Raf Simons has been able to synthesise the essence of underground cultures of yesterday and today within his collections, all while giving greater visibility to a fresher, more ambiguous masculinity. From tapered trousers (slim cuts before their time) to sweatshirts and t-shirts re-worked in noble fabrics with inserts of photos, sketches and graphics that render them unique, Raf Simons has lifted the lifestyles and passions of the young to the elevated ranks of high fashion. If his collections today combine an impeccable tailoring with revisited streetwear pieces it’s because Raf Simon’s clients have grown up with him.

Raf Simons fall-winter 2016-2017

 Raf Simons for Kvadrat fabric collections

 

 

3. A LOVE OF DESIGN, FURNITURE AND CUSHIONS

 

For anyone who’s been living in a cave for the last ten years, a little reminder that Raf Simon’s first love was for industrial design. An avid collector of designer furniture, Raf has long been collaborating with Danish brand Kvadrat for whom he conceives a new capsule collection every year entitled Kvadrat x Raf Simons. When he left the house of Dior, Raf openly declared his love for slower cycles of design, a true antidote to the crazy rhythm of the fashion world with a cry from the heart recently published in Numéro: “I love cushions, fireplaces and domestic life.”

Raf Simons haute couture fall-winter 2012-2013 inspired by Sterling Ruby pieces of work

 

4. HIS PASSION FOR CONTEMPORARY ART AND STERLING RUBY

 

Sterling Ruby was the inspiration behind his sublime splotch prints in the Dior haute couture collection of fall-winter 2012 achieved through a complex process documented in the already cult film Dior and I. Raf Simons, a collector of contemporary art, has developed a close relationship with Californian artist Sterling Ruby, whose oeuvre is partly made up of artisanal work on fabrics. The link between their two worlds is so strong that the two men have conceived a four-handed collection together under the ephemeral stage name of Raf Simons/Sterling Ruby. On the menu: urban masculine pieces with splotch motifs, parkas with arty patches as well as words and slogans in a pure punk style.

Roland Brice and Fernand Léger's ceramic vases from Raf Simons' collection

 

 

5. A CERAMICS AMATEUR

 

Collector of furniture and art, in 2013 Raf Simons got rid of an impressive treasure: 99 ceramic pieces dating between 1945 and 1970 that he’d been collecting for fifteen years were sold at Piasa in Paris. The pure inventive shapes, often inspired by nature, of these strange vases provide a valuable clue to the designer’s source of inspiration.  

 

 

By Delphine Roche

Michael Kors Spring-Summer 2019 fashion show
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Michael Kors Spring-Summer 2019 fashion show

Fashion Week Bright colors, floral and tropical prints, belts and necklaces, Michael Kors brings the beach spirit on his man and woman spring-summer 2019 fashion show.   Bright colors, floral and tropical prints, belts and necklaces, Michael Kors brings the beach spirit on his man and woman spring-summer 2019 fashion show.  

Prada relaunches its sportswear line with a new name, Linea Rossa
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Prada relaunches its sportswear line with a new name, Linea Rossa

Fashion At the fall-winter 2018-2019 runway shows, Prada announced the relaunch of its sportswear line under the new name of Linea Rossa. A collection of designs that align technical innovation with avant-garde aesthetics. At the fall-winter 2018-2019 runway shows, Prada announced the relaunch of its sportswear line under the new name of Linea Rossa. A collection of designs that align technical innovation with avant-garde aesthetics.