The announcement of Raf Simons’ Spring Summer 2023 show, which will be the last stage, has made the fans regret it. The Belgian designer has never given any explanation, just sent a letter to fans through MXH.
Raf Simons, a brand that changed the fashion industry
An icon of fashion history! Over the past two decades, Raf Simons’s strangest and most interesting legacy to the fashion industry has transcended conventional clothing design. Since 1995, the fashion house has caught the eye of many famous newspaper titles in Paris, building its own reputation. Thus, the designer’s farewell to his own brand has caused many surprises for the fans. Up to now, although there has not been any explanation for the decision to leave its own brand, the fashion house continues to accompany Prada as a co-director, alongside Miuccia Prada.
At the height of the fashion house, from Raf Simons, Jil Sander, Dior, and Calvin Klein to the debut of Prada SS21, there was nothing that Simons could not take advantage of. From culture and art to music, he is like an encyclopedia living at the intersection of fashion and mass.
After the Queen passed away, the Belgian designer chose to postpone the launch of the SS23 collection at London Fashion Week and launched it not long after. Prada’s love for England has always been so strong. And subculture is also part of the inspiration that accompanied Simons during his 27-year journey. Anglophilia – commonly used to describe a group of people who admire all things British. Although Raf’s starting point is not England, his hometown of Flanders is a convergence of many interesting things that intersect with the land of fog. In short, the designer is influenced by both lands, and it’s all reflected in his designs. We have rave sense, mods, punk, glam rock,… the genres of music that have risen strongly across British and Belgian cities since the 70s.
In the spring of 99, Raf chose David Bowie – a once-symbol of glam rock music, as the inspiration as well as conveying the male singer’s image through the background music for his latest collection. Even David Casavant, a well-known fashion collector in the US, has to admit that his favorite T-shirt is the item that Raf made with David Bowie in ’96. The designer loves and praises David. Bowie in numerous interviews that followed. Even the male singer is a “hero” and is always an inspirational figure for future collections. For example, in Dior’s spring 2015 runway show (under Raf Simone as creative director), “Moonage Dream” was chosen as the background music for the entire show. Or the male singer’s ballad at the end of the debut collection at Calvin Klein,…
Although Raf Simons was launched in 95, it was not until many years later that the brand gained public attention. In Fall/Winter of 2001, Raf specifically included prints of Bowie, the rock band Joy Division and Manic Street Preachers into his collection. It can be seen that Raf was especially passionate about many genres of music at that time. Post-punk, rave scenes, and even art director Peter Saville are also favored by the Belgian designer.
“I’m not too fond of rock ‘n’ roll. I’m more interested in techno music.” For the Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2006 show, Raf chose producer Aphex Twin to complete the audio for his minimalist runway picture. Coming to the SS 2009 stage, The Orb is a famous DJ duo participating, creating a crazy psychedelic space. Finally, it is impossible not to mention Dior’s Fall/Winter 2015 in Throbbing Gristle’s “Hot on the Heels of Love” track.
Besides music, the Spring Summer 2007 collection is the clearest example of Raf’s passion for British culture as well as celebrating popular culture in the 20th century. It is a show that combines music and art. , cinema and technology, it’s not surprising that the fashion house put Mark Leckey’s “Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore” into context. The work archives footage from many clubs over the course of three decades, from the Northern Soul of the 70s to the Rave scene of the 90s.
Meanwhile, Fall-Winter 2008 marked the first collaboration with Fred Perry, a famous British street-style brand. Patchwork, metallic, polo shirts (popular in the ’60s and ’70s) combine with the original Laurel wreath from Wimbledon, which ran through Spring/Summer 2011. At that time, This long-term handshake spawned many runways that highlight the values, aesthetics, and cross-cultures of both brands.
As such, the subculture, especially the UK music and club scene, is already part of Simons’ personality. There are few designers who put counterculture into their fashion stories as much as he does, especially Acid house or Rave sense. Identity, is the way we choose clothes to express our personality, and experiences through movies, stories, books, and even music. That’s what made the designer so passionate about England!
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