Say it ain't so! In what’s bound to be the most shocking piece of fashion news (this week at least), Raf Simons took to Instagram last night to announce he is shutting down his eponymous label. In the brief statement, Simons put the fashion world, wannabe archivists, and Grailed users alike in a frenzy when he declared the S/S 23 show, held at Printworks London, was the brand's last. In hindsight, the energy of Raf's rave was the perfect send off for the brand that's been consumed by a youth culture obsession since its inception.
‘I lack the words to share how proud I am of all that we have achieved’, explains Simons in his statement. ‘I am grateful for the incredible support from my team, my collaborators, from the press and buyers, from my friends and family, and from our devoted fans and loyal followers’.
Putting all Raf stans at ease, Simons' presence in fashion will still be felt thanks to his role as co-creative director of Prada. Since 2020 the designer has been splitting creative duties with Miuccia Prada exploring notions of the uniform, and bringing longterm collaborators like Peter de Potter to the Italian giant. Best known for its nylon bags and idiosyncratic intellectual sensuality, this summer the brand reported profit growth across all its product categories, a sure sign that the fruitful partnership isn't coming to an end anytime soon.
Founded in 1995 by the Belgian designer, the independent menswear label Raf Simons quickly gained a cult following thanks to Simons' ability to incorporate youth sub-cultures into the world of high fashion. With singular references spanning fashion, film, and music, it's the designer's personal interest in art that's been a constant across his illustrious career. A fixture at Frieze, the art aficionado has garnered countless collaborations under his belt including Peter Saville, Brian Calvin, Sterling Ruby, Robert Mapplethorpe, and most recently the estate of late Belgian painter Philippe Vandenberg. Now, we're turning the tables to celebrate nearly three decades of the influential label by looking back at 5 times our expansive community of fashion illustrators reimagined the runway looks across Raf Simons history.