Last week, with the release of yet another surprise full-length album, Taylor Swift arguably established herself as the only human to have an ultra-productive 2020. But with just two weeks to go, another has entered the fray: the Belgian designer Raf Simons.
Let’s start with a quick recap of Simons’s year, beginning with a pre-pandemic appointment to Prada’s co-creative director. Not only did he and Miuccia Prada still deliver, but Simons also pulled off his eponymous menswear label’s first stab at womenswear. It launched less than a month after his critically acclaimed Prada debut, making for Simons’s fourth collection this year. Bear in mind: This is the same designer who left Dior and Calvin Klein because he felt overworked.
And then, in the calm before the holidays, Simons squeezed in one (presumably) final burst of 2020 productivity. He launched History of My World, a retail platform curated to reflect his “point of view, aesthetic, and philosophy.” Within that launch was another semi-launch: the revival of Raf Simons House, which is so far a selection of blankets, candles, and books.
If this is news to you, well, you’re probably already too late. It only took less than 24 hours for Simons’s €450 candles to sell out, and only eight of the blankets remain. Surprisingly, the most expensive ones went first; you can still get a riff on the €2,200 for €650 less. (If you’re looking for justification, pricing includes tax and free international shipping from Simons’s home city, Antwerp.)
Like Simons’s 2005 10th-anniversary collection, the woolen throws are titled Teenage Dreams. Each and every one of them is unique, with reconfigurations of details also found in Simons’s spring 2021 women’s and menswear collections. There are patches with slogans like “Children of the Revolution,” as well as vintage photos of his team members’ families. And while they may make for a bumpy lie-down, both also appear on pins.
Home has always been extremely important to Simons, whose academic background is actually in industrial design. Post-graduation, he became a makeshift interiors dealer, going to flea markets and selling finds like ceramics, furniture, and lamps. He even recently designed glorified bean bag chairs, as part of a years-long collaboration with the textile design giant Kvadrat. (He also has a special penchant for stuffed animals.)
Rafaelites may recall that these aren’t the first blankets in Simons’s oeuvre. Red-and-white quilts figured prominently in the Kardashian-Jenners’ 2018 Calvin Klein campaign. Both Kendall and Kylie used them strategically; the former covered up her nipples, while the latter successfully hid her baby bump.