Who is Raf Simons?

Raf Simons

Last week Dior represented their Haute Couture collection at Paris Fashion Week. It was first collection of a newly appointed lead designer Raf Simons for the House of Dior. Collection got a lot of media attention, but sadly many negative reviews. We think collection was Ok. Raf is new to the house, new to the teams above and under him. But for Raf, this amount of media attention must be also new. Who is Raf Simons any ways?

  • Origin: Belgium
  • Age: 44
  • Education: Industrial Design and Furniture Design
  • Entrepreneurship Endeavors: His own label Raf Simons launched in 19991. The label had ups and downs and was even folded at some point. Shortly after label was relaunched in 2001. In 2005 a new line Raf by Raf Simons was added to the brand.
  • Academic Experience: Raf Simons worked as a professor of the fashion department of the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria between 2000 and 2005.
  • Collaborations: Since 2005 until 2012 was a Creative Director for Jil Sander, owned by Prada Group. Another collaboration is still ongoing with Fred Perry.
  • Critical Acclaim: First book about Raf “Raf Simons Redux” by Peter De Potter and Simons came out in 2001. Winner of Swiss Textile Award in 2003.

Raf Simons is known for a very strong men design and is often named as a guru of business wear. Dior likes to hire designers with strong business and design background, but also with clean reputation. There isn’t much known about this man yet, however the expectation is immense. For over 10 years Raf was called a revolutionary of men’s fashion often experimenting with shapes, fabrics and topics. His emphasis on men, however, was very notable in the Dior Haute Couture 2012 in Paris launch. I think, Raf needs to realize that Dior is extremely feminine brand that won’t tolerate anything manly even in business suits. Perhaps Raf was trying to reveal his identity as a man designer through Dior. But this brought a lot of fear that the style for Dior under Raf Simons is now set. We hope this will change and wish Raf all the best at Dior.

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