Jill Sander fall-winter 2011
Raf Simons fall-winter 2016-2017
Raf Simons for Kvadrat fabric collections
Raf Simons haute couture fall-winter 2012-2013 inspired by Sterling Ruby pieces of work
Roland Brice and Fernand Léger's ceramic vases from Raf Simons' collection
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.