Before Pitti Uomo, A Look Back at Raf Simons by Raf Simons
Over the course of his three-and-a-half-year tenure at Christian Dior, Raf Simons — much like Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent and Alessandro Michele at Gucci — was responsible for breathing new life into a brand entrenched in history and tradition. But even before he signed on to the stories house, he had made a name for himself as an adventurous menswear designer. It's on those roots that he has focused since exiting Dior in October of last year, leaving it without a creative director, and it's on those terms that he has been invited to present his Spring 2017 collection at Pitti Uomo in June, as part of Florence Calling: Raf Simons. The event heralds Simons' return to Florence and to an event with which he's worked closely over the years — he's curated previous events for Pitti and showed Jil Sander Spring 2011 in the city. Simons has deconstructed menswear and pieced it back together, often leaving the ends exposed (quite literally — many of the looks on his Fall 2016 runway were practically unraveling as they shuffled on and off the stage), picking out the details, the color palette, and the silhouettes from menswear throughout history and turning them on their heads. Schoolboy uniforms, wool coats, a well-tailored suit, even a bit of athleisure, it's all fair game in Raf Simons' canon. Here, we look back on a few of his best looks over the past few years.