Fashion icon Raf Simons shutters his influential label
Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons will shutter his eponymous fashion
“I lack the words to share how proud I am of all that we have achieved,” he wrote. “I am grateful for the incredible support from my team, from my collaborators, from the press and buyers, from my friends and family, and from our devoted fans and loyal followers. Thank you all, for believing in our vision and for believing in me.”
Raf Simons’ brand, which began as an underground menswear label in the 1990s, had become a mainstay of major runways. Credit: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images
Simons did not immediately return a request for comment on the decision to discontinue his label.
True to Simons’ history of taking cues from countercultral music scenes, including new wave, punk and electronic, his final collection was presented at London’s Printworks, a famed nightclub (and former newspaper factory) set to close next year. The presentation — his label’s first at London Fashion Week — was delayed due to Queen Elizabeth II’s passing and took place in mid-October. For the show, he eschewed the hierarchies common at runway shows, using the massive space to invite a crowd of 800 people from among and beyond fashion’s elite.
Raf Simons previously held posts at Christian Dior (pictured), Jil Sander and Calvin Klein, before taking on a co-creative director role at Prada in 2020. Credit: Dominique Charriau/WireImage/Getty Images
In what now seemed to signal the change in his career, Simons printed phrases from the late Belgian painter Philippe Vandenberg on some of the collection’s garments.
“They’re cruel words, like ‘Kill them all and dance,'” he was quoted as saying of the prints. “But (Vandenberg) didn’t mean killing people — he meant killing things that you’re doing creatively in order to move on and explore further.”