Raf Simons’ Blade Runner-Inspired Show Stole Men’s Fashion Week

Share Button

Raf Simons Spring 2018 menswear show yesterday evening – his second time presenting in New York – was a much needed jolt of freshness and excitement amid his largely predictable Men’s Fashion Week peers.

Inspired by the classic 1982 sci-fi film Blade RunnerSimons set his show under the Manhattan Bridge in a nighttime Chinese food market, complete with neon lights, wet pavement, and lanterns printed with imagery from the designer’s collaborator, artist Peter Saville. The latter was responsible for the stark, iconic imagery of those early Joy Division and New Order album covers.



The audience was standing-only, and more a-list than at much of the week’s previous events: A$AP Rocky, Marc Jacobs, and Julianne Moore were among those in attendance.

Jacobs had told Vogue“I love Raf and he’s a good friend, so I’m very glad he’s here. Although, I saw more of him before he got here than since he’s here . . . but, you know, Raf makes fashion. He’s a creator. So he brings a creativity to American fashion which I think is lacking.”



The clothes made reference to many signature Simons pieces past, only with a dystopian twist. There were several shiny trenches, printed bucket hats with matching neck ties, shirts bearing the word “Replicant,” as well as off-the-shoulder sweaters, wide-legged trousers, and an excess of plaid patterns. Accessories included, fittingly, galoshes and umbrellas, some with glowing rods, and little pouches in collaboration with Eastpak.



Soundtrack-wise, the music was a familiar Simons amalgamation of genres that only served to enhance the gritty, action-movie aesthetic of the whole scene.

Raf Simons Wins CFDA Award for Menswear and Womenswear in the Same Year

Share Button
Photo: @CalvinKlein on Instagram

Last night was a big night for fashion: the 2017 CFDA Awards drew New York City’s most elegantly-dressed into one room, the Hammerstein Ballroom, to honor the minds that have shaped the year’s clothes. Raf Simons made history as the second designer ever, and the first since 1993, to take home Designer of the Year in both Menswear and Womenswear categories. Of course, it’s probably time to start thinking about taking binary gender out of fashion, but that’s an argument for another time.

Simons won the awards in his first year as Creative Director of Calvin Klein, and, fittingly, the previous person to win both was Klein himself, 23 years ago.

“I — we — came to America because America, and you, its people, are inspiring to me…are inspiring to us,” Simons said upon accepting the first of his awards, for Menswear. “If this means we can do something back, and we can inspire, then we are more than happy at Calvin Klein, and thankful at Calvin Klein. It feels like a big welcome.”

Simons has been in his post at the iconic brand for under a year, but already done much to rejuvenate the label’s image. He unveiled a new logo in February and had an incredible Americana-inspired runway show featuring his collections for both sexes on one catwalk. Some of our fave looks from that Ready-to-Wear line:

Look 33, Calvin Klein Fall 2017 Men’s + Women’s RTW. Watch the show at calvinklein.com. #CALVINKLEINFW17

A post shared by Calvin Klein (@calvinklein) on

Look 54, Calvin Klein Fall 2017 Men’s + Women’s RTW. Watch the show at calvinklein.com. #CALVINKLEINFW17

A post shared by Calvin Klein (@calvinklein) on

Take a look at the full list of winners below:

Menswear Designer of the Year:

WINNER: Raf Simons for Calvin Klein

Robert Geller

Thom Browne

Tim Coppens

Todd Snyder

Accessory Designer of the Year:

WINNER: Stuart Vevers for Coach

Irene Neuwirth

Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel for Mansur Gavriel

Paul Andrew

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row

Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent:

Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock for Brock Collection

Gabriela Hearst

WINNER: Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia for Monse

Virgil Abloh for Off-White

Sander Lak for Sies Marjan

Womenswear Designer of the Year:

Joseph Altuzarra

WINNER: Raf Simons for Calvin Klein

Marc Jacobs

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row

Inaugural Swarovski Award for Positive Change

Kenneth Cole 

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award

Rick Owens

International Award

Demna Gvasalia for Vetements and Balenciaga

The Founder’s Award

Pat McGrath

Board of Directors’ Tribute

Cecile Richards, Gloria Steinem and Janelle Monáe

Fashion Icon Award

Franca Sozzani, Italian Vogue editor-chief, posthumous

Raf Touches Down in New York

Share Button
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.

Raf Simons Unveils Andy Warhol and Richard Prince Inspired Campaign

Share Button
All photography by Willy Vandeperre.

Just days ahead of his NYFW debut as Creative Director of Calvin Klein, Raf Simons has dropped a new ad campaign set in front of the iconic artwork of visionaries including Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, and Sterling Ruby.

The campaign is titled ‘American Classics’ and photographed by Willy Vandeperre, with styling by Olivier Rizzo. On CalvinKlein.com, the designer dissects the meaning behind each model(s) paired with each painting. Over Instagram, the label explained that the campaign is “a celebration of Calvin Klein’s iconic underwear and jeans; acknowledging their status as Pop and showing them in the world of art.”

Check out Simons’ art-inspired new campaign in the following slides.

Raf Simons Unveils New Mapplethorpe-Inspired SS17 Campaign

Share Button
Photo by Willy Vanderperre for Raf Simons.

In the new Raf Simons SS17 campaign, the designer and new Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein collaborates with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, with photography by Willy Vanderperre and styling by Olivier Rizzo. Print’s of Mapplethorpe’s work are incorporated into the designs of his collection, as well as leather hats and belt chokers, a nod to the late photographer’s sexuality. The Mapplethorpe Foundation approached Simons to propose the partnership, and the pair debuted the new collection last summer in Florence.

Simons’ new campaign comes ahead of his much-anticipated menswear show, his first at the helm of Calvin Klein, tomorrow at New York Fashion Week Men’s.

Take a look at the new campaign below.

Raf Simons, ‘I Don’t Want To Do Collections Where I’m Not Thinking’

Share Button

Last spring, months before Raf Simons announced he’d be stepping down as Creative Director at Dior, the designer agreed to a series of intimate interview with prized fashion critic Cathy Horyn, Business of Fashion reveals.

Caught inside Dior’s unstoppable money-making machine, the pair’s conversations shed light on Simons’ creative suffocation during his time at the European house—his genuine artistry falling second to systematic processes in order to meet strict deadlines. For a dreamy romantic like Simons, such a regimented fast-paced environment became a heavyweight burden, as shown in the following interview excerpts via BOF, below.

On the Dior fall ready-to-wear show:

“You know, we did this collection in three weeks […] Tokyo was also done in three weeks. Actually everything is done in three weeks, maximum five. And when I think back to the first couture show for Dior, in July 2012, I was concerned because we only had eight weeks.”

On the Dior process:

“When you do six shows a year, there’s not enough time for the whole process […] Technically, yes—the people who make the samples, do the stitching, they can do it. But you have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important. When you try an idea, you look at it and think, Hmm, let’s put it away for a week and think about it later. But that’s never possible when you have only one team working on all the collections.”

On inspiration:

“I just did a show yesterday. Just now, while waiting in the car, I sent four or five ideas to myself by text message, so I don’t forget them. They are always coming […] I was just thinking about this kind of very masculine tailoring you see in the navy. It can be stupid things, like a certain button. But I’ve been doing this my whole life. The problem is when you have only one design team and six collections, there is no more thinking time. And I don’t want to do collections where I’m not thinking.”

On his schedule:

“I have a schedule every day that begins at 10 in the morning and runs through the day, and every, every minute is filled. From 10.10am to 10.30am, it’s shoes, let’s say. From 10.30 to 11.15, it’s jewellery. Everything is timed—the whole week. If there’s a delay in a meeting, the whole day is fucked up.”

On fashion:

“Fashion became pop. I can’t make up my mind if that’s a good or a bad thing. The only thing I know is that it used to be elitist. And I don’t know if one should be ashamed or not to admit that maybe it was nicer when it was more elitist, not for everybody. Now high fashion is for everybody.”

On accessibility:

“Everything is so easily accessible, and because of that you don’t make a lot of effort anymore. When we were young, you had to make up your mind to investigate something—because it took time. You really had to search and dig deep. Now if something interests you, one second later, you can have it. And also one second later you also drop it.”

On personal versus professional life:

“There’s never enough time. You get a tension. I know how to pull out from this in my personal life. We go and look at nature for three hours. It’s heaven. We go to a bakery and buy a bag of stuff and lie in the grass. Sublime. But how to do that in the context of your professional life? You buy a house and you start doing pottery or something?”

The complete text of Cathy Horyn’s interview with Raf Simons appears in the Autumn/Winter 2015 issue of System Magazine.

Insta-Critic: Dior’s Covetable Lucite Boots

Share Button

At Dior today, the #frow was fully occupied by zooming and snapping pix of Raf Simon’s surefire hot of a boot–latex with lucite heels (both of which which varied in height–the heel, and the boot itself, that is). The collection itself saw creative uses of the season’s favorite: fur, rendered in dresses and extra sumptuous, almost pastel looking colors. The coats stayed classic–think gorgeously tailored dusters, but the clothes themselves combined 60s mod looks with far more futuristic, out-there patterns (some of which came in the form of full out body suits).

Backstage at @dior #aw15 #pfw

A photo posted by British Vogue (@britishvogue) on

Futuristic prints + longgggg straight hair.

Simply…#jadore @dior #pfw #fall2015

A photo posted by Editorialist Magazine (@editorialistmagazine) on

An it-shoe to be sure.

@dior #Diorshow #pfw

A photo posted by The Business of Fashion (@bof) on

Mod references.

Another iteration of the latex bootie.

Designer Raf Simons Talks Nerves, Fears, and Getting Emotional for New Documentary “Dior and I”

Share Button

In an interview with WWD, Christian Dior’s Raf Simons discusses the filming of the documentary “Dior and I” about his coming to the house that will premiere next week at the Tribeca Film Festival. Geniuses get nerves, too.

270 hours of raw footage have been whittled down to the final documentary, a film that Simons found both comforting and emotional. Said Simons, “There was an enormous intimacy in the movie, which I think is also present in Dior, in the company. In the building, there was a strong kind of family feel.”

The filmmaker Frédéric captured Simons’ creative process — so rooted in contemporary art in a house “steeped in tradition” — a process that includes a bit of a temper:
“As he watches the film long afterward, Simons squirms as his anger flares in some scenes…”
… even at Simons notes he appears much more calm then he had envisioned. Wonder what the members of the atelier would have to say about that.
The film premieres on April 17. See stills from the film, below.

Raf Simons

dior02Members of the atelier

Main image: Dior fall 2014, photo by Guillaume Roujas for nowfashion.com

Stills: Courtesy

STYLE SCOOP: Kim & Kanye Cover Vogue, Colette Gets Robbed, Raf Simons & Adidas Pair Up Again

Share Button

The End Is Near / April Fools?

In case you dropped off the internet last week, you may haven’t noticed that Kim and Kanye cover the April issue of Vogue. Yes, American Vogue, edited by the one and only Anna Wintour. Also, there’s a hashtag on the cover of Vogue. Also, the word “selfie”. What is happening?!

Fashion Hold Up

Armed robbers hit up Colette in Paris, making away with a stash of watches.

Shoe Shopping

Steve Madden is gearing up to buy Brian Atwood.

Fit Like Christy

Into the Gloss has the skinny on Christy Turlington’s workout.

Get Your Kicks

Nike might have Riccardo Tisci for the first time, but Adidas is back with Raf Simons for another sneaker collection. (And we love.)

Tripping On Louis

Watch Louis Vuitton’s “infinite mirror” jewelry film below.