Though designer Raf Simons has been the creative head of Jil Sander, Dior, Calvin Klein and now Prada (in a shared role), for a certain segment of menswear enthusiast the true highlights of his career came under his own namesake label. Now, after 27 years, Simons has announced that the brand is closing.
“I lack the words to share how proud I am of all that we have achieved,” Simons wrote in a note posted to Instagram. “Thank you all, for believing in our vision and believing in me.”
Several fellow designers, including Grace Wales Bonner, Bottega Veneta’s Matthieu Blazy, and Marc Jacobs commented on the post. “[A]lways incredible. [A]lways inspiring. [T]hank you Raf,” wrote Jacobs.
No other details were immediately available. Though, ever since it was announced that Simons would become the co-Creative Director of Prada alongside Miuccia Prada herself in 2020, it has long been widely assumed though never officially confirmed that he would one day take over all creative duties for the storied Milan-based label.
Simons originally studied industrial and furniture designs in school, but turned to fashion after being inspired by the works of Martin Margiela. He launched his first menswear collection with a Fall–Winter 1995 presentation.
Simons’ label, originally noted for plunging cultural signifiers of his youth (like his favorite bands like Kraftwerk and Joy Division) for inspiration, grew in both acclaim and popularity throughout the early ‘00s. That buzz lead to him being appointed to Jil Sander. Prior to joining Prada, he also had two memorable, but rather short back-to-back stints at Dior and Calvin Klein.
Though, despite this tenure producing French couture and American denim, his menswear under his own label has remained his most consistent calling card. Celebrities like A$AP Rocky and Timothée Chalamet have been noted fans. As have a wide cross section of hypebeasts, hip-hop heads, art school kids, and fashion insiders. Through the label, Simons had also orchestrated several longterm collaborations with brands like Fred Perry, Adidas, Linda Farrow and Eastpak.
Little else is known about the reasoning behind the sudden closure, though we can safely assume one thing: the prices for pieces from past Simons collections, already quite expensive, will assuredly surge on re-sale sites like Grailed and TheRealReal.