Contradicting to what most people would believe about a fashion designer owning his/her eponymous label, the designer isn’t always the one deciding the business direction of his/her own fashion house, but the shareholders. When the business direction of the company is different from the designer’s vision, the designer might decide to leave the brand, and in most cases, to be replaced by another designer to design under his/her name.
It sounds a little ironic, but it’s all about business. (“So you’re wearing Jil Sander, and it’s not designed by Jil Sander?”)
That’s what came to my mind when I learned the name Raf Simons. Raf Simons was the reigning designer of Jill Sander label when the founding designer Jill Sander returned to her own brand for the second time in 2012 (Sander actually left twice, happened as described in the opening para). The very talented Raf Simons was then dismissed (poor thing).
Raf Simons (pronounced as “Ralph SEE-mon”) is a Belgian fashion designer, and today’s Brand Profile is about this prolific furniture-designer-turned-fashion-designer and his eponymous label Raf Simons.
|Company||Detlef BVBA (Private Company)|
|Available in Malaysia||No|
|Available in Other Asian Country||Yes (Singapore)|
Born on 12 January 1968 to an army night watchman and a house cleaner in Neerpelt village (wiki), Raf Simons came from a rather ordinary background without much cultural and artistic influences from the family in the early age.
As a graduate of Industrial and Furniture Design in a small college in Genk, Simons worked as a furniture designer for varies companies since 1991. After a few years of unsatisfying career (he gave up because of the slow furniture manufacturing process, apparently) and inspired after attending his first fashion show at Maison Martin Margiela, Simons decided to become a Fashion Designer through self-training, with a little help from his mentor Linda Loppa.
In 1995, Raf Simons debuted in the fashion world with his eponymous menswear label “Raf Simons”, and the label is still going strong until today. 10 years after his debut, he was appointed the creative director of Jil Sander in 2005, and then the creative director of Christian Dior since 2012.
Raf Simons Collections
Raf Simons collection is a menswear-only label. When it comes to design influence, Simons loves both young subculture and traditional menswear, and he’s an advocate of wearable fashion. The biggest attribute of his works is minimalism and modernity with focus on shape and construction.
As some fashion critics put it,
“… what is equally extraordinary is how you can look at a Raf Simons collection from ten or twelve years ago, and it scarcely looks dated at all, such is the timeless stylishness of Simons’ take on modernity.”
Here’s the latest shows from Raf Simons:
Fred Perry x Raf Simons
Raf Simons has been working with Fred Perry on a seasonal collaboration since 2008 to create a special line of Fred Perry clothing. In align with Fred Perry heritage in subculture, the collection is the celebration and the reinvention of the mod culture.
Raf Simons x Adidas
A collaboration with Adidas since Fall 2013, the latest Spring/Summer collection is to be released in February 2014. The classics such as Adidas Ozweego 1 and the Adidas Repsonse Trail Rerun are to be reinvented with touches of high-fashion and futuristic style.
Ultra fashionable sports shoes with suit trend has been around for quite sometimes, and I’ve never really like the bulky shoes but somehow these Simons-designed might change my mind haha.
Raf Simons: Redux
A book published in 2005 about Raf Simons and his 10 years in the fashion business.
Raf by Raf Simons Collection
A more affordable line was introduced in Jun 2005 – Raf by Raf Simons, as a strategy to expand his client base.
Raf Simons is not currently available in Malaysia, but you can visit The Corner to shop Raf Simons collections.