After a 27-year run, designer Raf Simons announces the closure of his namesake brand. Simons took to Instagram to publicly state that the brand’s spring-summer 2023 collection shown in London in October will be it’s last. The show strayed away from the label’s traditional minimalistic approach, which featured party-inspired pieces. Simons invited a mixture of 800 people among and beyond the fashion elite. In an interview with Vogue, Simons said, “I didn’t want a show for 300 people sitting in rows. This is a show that’s pure democracy. No hierarchy. A London explosion of youth, life, dancing, and being together… I was thinking a lot about the body in relation to dressing up and going out and performing.”
The Belgian designer kicked off his creative career in furniture, which he studied in Antwerp before testing the waters in fashion. Raf Simons, founded in 1995, evolved into an influential menswear label. Simons has been a voice for youth culture, strongly characterized by thin silhouettes and a sentimental point of view. Success of the brand led the designer to jobs at esteemed labels such as Dior, Jil Sander, and Calvin Klein. In 2017, Simons was named both Menswear and Womenswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America for his work at Calvin Klein and Designer of the Year by the British Fashion Council. The sSimons is currently a co-creative director at Prada alongside shareholder Miuccia Prada. He is expected to continue his position here.
Raf Simons, though a small business compared to super-brand employers, proves that a small label can be mighty. As one of fashion week’s most revered shows, Simons’ rebellious ethos and manipulation of color and texture made big splashes in the fashion scene. Simons said, “I lack the words to share how proud I am. 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 followers. Thank you all for believing in our vision and for believing in me.”