10 Things You Didn’t Know About Raf Simons

Raf Simons is a renowned fashion designer known for his avant-garde and minimalist approach to design. He has left an indelible mark on the fashion industry with his unique blend of creativity and innovation. While many people are familiar with his work, there are some lesser-known facts about Raf Simons that may surprise you. From his early influences to his collaborations with other artists, here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Raf Simons.

1. A Connection to Industrial Design

Before delving into the world of fashion, Simons studied industrial design and furniture design at the Genk Institute for Higher Education in Belgium. His interest in these fields gave him a unique perspective on fashion design and influenced his innovative and unconventional approach to clothing.

Simons’ background in industrial design is evident in his fashion creations, characterized by clean lines, architectural silhouettes, and attention to detail. His ability to blend disciplines and transcend traditional boundaries has contributed to his remarkable success in the fashion world.

2. Collaboration with Artist Sterling Ruby

Raf Simons formed a highly successful creative partnership with American artist Sterling Ruby. Their collaboration, which began in 2008, resulted in numerous groundbreaking projects that merged art and fashion seamlessly.

Simons often incorporated Ruby’s artwork into his designs, transforming garments into canvases for artistic expression. Their collaboration extended beyond fashion shows, with Simons and Ruby working together to design store interiors and create art installations. This fruitful partnership exemplifies Simons’ commitment to pushing boundaries and engaging with various art forms.

3. A Passion for Music

Music has always been a significant influence in Raf Simons’ life and work. He drew inspiration from the underground music scene and idolized bands like Joy Division and The Antwerp Six, who were known for their distinctive styles.

Simons regularly features musicians in his shows and draws inspiration from their music to create his collections. His passion for music extends beyond the fashion world, as he has collaborated with musicians such as Brian Eno and Trevor Jackson, lending his aesthetic to album covers and stage designs.

4. Academic Endeavors

Besides his fashion career, Raf Simons has also dabbled in academia. He served as a guest professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, sharing his knowledge and experiences with aspiring fashion designers.

Simons’ willingness to pass on his expertise highlights his dedication to cultivating the next generation of creative minds. His contributions to the academic world further solidify his status as an influential figure in the fashion industry.

5. A Love for Youth Culture

Raf Simons has consistently drawn inspiration from youth culture, exploring themes such as rebellion, identity, and the coming-of-age experience. This fascination with the younger generation fuels his ability to capture the zeitgeist and create garments that resonate with contemporary audiences.

Simons often collaborates with young artists and photographers, providing them with a platform to showcase their work. His commitment to nurturing emerging talent aligns with his passion for youth culture and his desire to push creative boundaries.

6. A Film Enthusiast

Besides music, Raf Simons has a deep appreciation for film and frequently alludes to cinematic references in his designs. He has cited iconic directors such as David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder as major influences on his creative process.

Simons’ fascination with film is evident in his fashion shows, which often incorporate elaborate sets and storytelling elements reminiscent of cinematic experiences. His ability to translate his love for film into compelling fashion presentations sets him apart as an innovative and multidimensional designer.

7. Aesthetics of Gender Fluidity

Rather than conforming to traditional gender norms, Raf Simons has embraced androgyny and explored the aesthetics of gender fluidity in his designs. His collections often blur the lines between menswear and womenswear, challenging the notion of gender-specific clothing.

Simons’ inclusive approach to fashion has garnered acclaim and influenced other designers to question traditional gender roles in their own work. His commitment to breaking down barriers and celebrating individuality has made him a visionary in the industry.

8. Appreciation for Artistic Craftsmanship

Simons has an unwavering appreciation for the craftsmanship and skill involved in creating garments. He has consistently collaborated with renowned textile manufacturers, such as Kvadrat and Bekaert, to develop innovative fabrics and materials for his collections.

This dedication to the art of craftsmanship is evident in Simons’ attention to detail and the exquisite quality of his garments. By combining traditional techniques with contemporary design, he perpetuates the legacy of skilled craftsmanship in the fashion industry.

9. Raf Simons, the Calvin Klein Era

In 2016, Raf Simons was appointed as the Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein, becoming the first creative director to oversee both the brand’s fashion and home divisions. During his tenure, he brought his unique vision and aesthetic to the iconic American fashion house.

Simons’ collaboration with Calvin Klein was a critical success, earning him multiple awards and solidifying his position as one of the most influential designers of the modern era. His impactful designs for Calvin Klein transformed the brand’s image and left an indelible mark on its history.

10. A Collector of Contemporary Art

Raf Simons has an extensive collection of contemporary art, showcasing his passion for artistic expression beyond the realm of fashion. He has a particular affinity for the works of artists such as Sterling Ruby, Cindy Sherman, and Brian Calvin.

Simons’ art collection not only reflects his personal taste but also serves as a source of inspiration for his designs. By immersing himself in contemporary art, he continually seeks new ideas and influences that inform his creative process.

From his early days as an industrial design student to his transformative collaborations and avant-garde designs, Raf Simons has established himself as a true visionary in the fashion world. His relentless pursuit of innovation, combined with his diverse range of influences, sets him apart as one of the most influential designers of his generation.

If you’re curious to learn more about Raf Simons and his incredible body of work, check out the following links: