Raf Touches Down in New York

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Illustration by Hilton Dresden

Six months ago, Calvin Klein announced industry veteran Raf Simons would take over as Chief Creative Officer. Following his abrupt departure from Dior in Fall 2015, Simons would receive full control over clothing, fragrance and advertisement. Relatively quiet since his appointment, Simons has dominated headlines as of late, with a redesigned CK logo and an inspired campaign focusing on American Pop and Modern art. On Friday, though, Simons finally unveiled his first collection for the house.

Inviting press and celebrity clients to the Calvin Klein New York City headquarters in midtown, guests sat beneath a new permanent ceiling installation courtesy of friend and longtime collaborator Sterling Ruby. With a soundtrack consisting of David Bowie’s “This Is Not America” and Virgin Suicides soundbites, Simons showed his expansive take on modern America. Filled with clever anecdotes, including quilted blankets as technical jacket liners, and nylon layered over fur reminiscent of plastic couch covers, the designer presented a European view on Americana in its truest sense. Bold color combinations and minimal designs irking back to his Jil Sander days were just the refresh needed to jolt the poorly performing Calvin Klein Collection line back to life. With full creative control and an inspired first outing, we can’t wait to see what Raf will do next.