Raf Simons Is Shuttering His Namesake Brand

In a shock announcement, Raf Simons, the Belgian style famous person and co-creative director of Prada, said that he’s shuttering his namesake model. “I lack the phrases to share how proud I’m of all that we have now achieved,” he wrote in an Instagram submit on Monday. The Spring-Summer time 2023 present held in London in October would be the model’s final. “I’m grateful for the unimaginable assist from my crew, from my collaborators, from the press and patrons, from my family and friends, and from our devoted followers and constant followers,” mentioned Simons.

And what a following he had. Although Raf Simons (the designer) outpaced Raf Simons (the model) in influence and affect in recent times, it’s frankly laborious to think about a males’s style panorama with out his biannual dispatches from the culty corners of youth tradition. Pleasure Division and Sonic Youth, Christiane F. and Blade Runner, Sterling Ruby and Robert Mapplethorpe, underground raves and, not too long ago, the flower energy hippie motion: all supplied ample conceptual and graphic inspiration. Based in Antwerp in 1995, the road had a powerful insider following in addition to broad pop cultural relevance; it was successful within the artwork world from the soar and finally within the hip-hop group. The 2017 tune “RAF” by A$AP Mob is a love letter by a few of his largest followers: Playboi Carti, Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert, Frank Ocean, and A$AP Rocky, who typically refers to Simons as his father.

Simons didn’t element precisely why he’s closing his line, although he has lengthy expressed frustration with the relentless tempo of the trendy style system. At Christian Dior, which he helmed from 2012 to 2015, Simons was answerable for six exhibits a yr, along with his Antwerp-based line. As he informed Cathy Horyn on the time, with such a schedule, “you don’t have any incubation time for concepts, and incubation time is essential.” He joined Prada in 2020; there, he and Miuccia Prada are answerable for no less than 4 collections per yr. Maybe Simons, an artwork fanatic identified to be protecting of his private life, felt it was time to focus his energies.

Or maybe he’s acknowledging industrial realities. Anecdotally, Raf heads seem to have adopted him to Prada, the place Simons has introduced his signature outsized outerwear silhouettes and boyish underpinnings. In the meantime, a brand new era of style lovers have clamored for archival items from important Raf Simons collections, like Fall-Winter 2001’s “Riot Riot Riot,” with sure items going for tens of hundreds of {dollars} on the secondary market. Final yr, Simons capitalized on this frenzy by re-issuing 100 items from the model’s archive. However clothes from latest runway collections have been more durable to seek out in shops—and, Kyle Kuzma’s outsized pink sweater apart, scarcely seen on the road.

For now, Simons’s future appears to lie with Prada, within the homewares he has been designing with Danish textile model Kvadrat, and in his enduring relationship with the artwork world. “Thanks all, for believing in our imaginative and prescient and for believing in me,” mentioned Simons’ assertion in closing. As of writing, a small choice of Raf Simons items stay accessible on the model’s web site.

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