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Prada names Raf Simons as co-creative director

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

23 Feb 2020

The rumours surrounding Raf Simons next move has been confirmed, the Belgian designer has been named as co-creative director of Prada.

Simons, will join Prada on April 2, and will work in partnership with Miuccia Prada with “equal responsibilities for creative input and decision-making,” the Italian fashion label confirmed during Milan Fashion Week.

The duo’s first co-designed collection for Prada will be unveiled for spring/summer 2021 with a womenswear catwalk show presented in Milan in September.

Rumours have been swirling for months regarding where Simons might land next, after stints as creative director of Jil Sander, Christian Dior and most recently Calvin Klein, and Prada has been in the mix for a while, especially after Simons was spotted looking for an apartment in Milan.

It was however speculated that the designer would head up Prada’s sister label Miu Miu, rather than co-design the Prada label.

In a statement, Prada said that the partnership would “encompassing all creative facets of the Prada label” and that the concept of Miuccia Prada working alongside Simons as co-creative directors was born from a “deep reciprocal respect and from an open conversation,” which it added was a “mutual decision, proposed and determined by both parties”.

Raf Simons announced as co-creative director at Prada with Miuccia Prada

The move marks a new way of working in fashion, the idea of creative power-sharing by two equally renowned fashion designers, which Prada acknowledges is a “strong challenge to the idea of singularity of creative authorship” while also making a “bold reinforcement of the importance and power of creativity in a shifting cultural landscape”.

“As times change, so should creativity,” explained Prada. "The synergy of this partnership is far-reaching. It is a reaction to the era in which we live - an epoch with fresh possibilities, permitting a different point of view and approach to established methodologies.”

Prada added: “It can also be seen as the first step towards broader scopes of interaction - an initiation of free exchange and collaboration, a questioning of creative conventions.”

While some in the fashion industry were questioning whether the move to name a co-creative director was made in preparation for Prada’s eventual retirement, the brand insists that the idea was more about moving the fashion industry forward and added that the "inherent facet of the identity of Prada is a willingness to push boundaries, to experiment, to take opportunities to advance”.

“If the notion of a partnership is to work jointly, the result of that conversation may not only be product but also the propagation of a thought and a culture,” added Prada. “A pure vision of creativity, with the product a vehicle for these thoughts.”

Image: courtesy of Prada