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Raf Simons to close his namesake label

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Raf Simons at the finale of his SS22 Womenswear presentation in Paris (Photo: Catwalk Pictures)

Raf Simons announced it is to shutter its label, with the Spring Summer 2023 collection the brand’s swansong.

In an announcement on Instagram, the Belgian designer said it would be the end of the brand’s 27 years and SS23 its final season.

“I lack the words to share how proud I am in all that we have achieved,” Simons wrote. “I am grateful for the increadible support from my team, from my collaborators, from the press and buyers, from my friends and family, and from our devoted fans and loyal follows. Thank you all, for believing in our vision and for believing in me.”

Simons long-time collaborator Pieter Mulier, now Creative Director at Alaïa, said in an Instagram post Mr Simons “influenced everyone for three decades.”

'I lack the words to share how proud I am...'

Raf Simons’ last show was held during Frieze in London in October, at which time there was little to foreshadow it would be the label's final outing.

Mr Simons, who has shaped the course of fashion from Jil Sander to Dior to Calvin Klein, is currently the co-creative director of Prada, a role he has held since 2020. Some industry insiders have suggested his hire is part of the Italian group's succession plan, ultimately succeeding Miuccia Prada (73).

Mr Simons, who splits his time between Milan and Antwerp, graduated in industrial design in 1991 and began working as a furniture designer for galleries and private interiors. After an internship at Walter Van Beirendonck, who was part of the infamous Antwerp Six, Mr Simons was encouraged by the head of the fashion department of the Antwerp Royal Academy to carve his own fashion path, launching his own label in 1995 as a self-trained menswear designer.

On the brand’s website, the singular message Mr Simons wants to convey is “pride in individuality. Fuelled by his love for both rebellious youth cultures and traditional menswear," Mr Simons’ signature style has embraced revolution and innovation, but the "key elements stay the same: modern proportions, a constant research for fabrics and textures and above all the interplay of pure construction and new shapes with the body and psyche of the contemporary."

Raf Simons