Spotlight: Raf Simons

Raf Simons is one of the few people in the world who has brought the concept of luxury to the streets.
After creating his successful namesake label in 1995 in Antwerp, Belgium, he became the creative director of Jill Sander for seven years, then taken over Christian Dior's creative director position, and in 2016, was announced the CEO of Calvin Klein. 

Simons' influence on every brand is long lasting and such a tremendous effect that a name has popped up to describe this: "The Simons Effect". At only the age of 17, he started to work on his line which revolved around making clothes that he knew the youth would want to wear and so, he gathered inspiration from the underground music scene, art and grafitti (all things he considered "youthful"). For his fashion shows, he strategically used "regular" boys instead of professional models; this was due to his own beliefs: "to avoid the trappings of the fashion system". A minor differentiating strategy which worked out majorly, as it spoke to the people, it made his fashion, in turn, seem more "cool", "relatable" and best of all, original as nothing like this was in the market. His own rebellious street style aesthetic has become so popular, that it provides some confirmation: people in their 20s may not be interested in the classicism of Dior or Armani anymore (as for some, it could be considered too "mainstream"), but they are definitely interested in Raf. Music artists such as Kanye West, Riganna and A$AP Rocky are such fans that Kanye had even admitted Simons had influenced his ideas for his own famous Yeezy collection while A$AP had released a single called "Please Don't Touch My Raf". 

What really makes Raf convey a strong dialogue with my generation is not about the slang featured on a T-shirt or some funky art on his jeans, it is about individuality through innovation. People do not want to be the same, Raf understands that and uses that core understanding in all his garments which are extremely: modern, futurisitic and innovative in textute, shape, proportions etc. due to his street culture influences. He took this risky move when he modernized the timeless Christian Dior collection in 2014 which led to Dior's sales skyrocketing. 

🖇 "When we were young, [we] had to make up our mind to investigate someting - because it took time. You really had to search and dig deep. Now if something intrests you, one second later, you can have it. And also one second later, you drop it".

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