Raf Simons was born in the small town of Neerpelt, Belgium in 1968. He came from a humble family; his father was a night watchman and his mother was a house cleaner. Simons has described his hometown of Neerpelt as one devoid of culture, saying “The whole existence besides school was built up around music.” He left Neerpelt to study industrial design at LUCA School of Arts in Genk, Belgium. During this time, he began to intern for the fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck. Despite Simons’ lack of interest in fashion at the time, Van Beirendonck took him to his first runway show: Maison Martin Margiela’s Spring 1990 all-white show. The show completely changed Simons’ perception of fashion and upon leaving, he decided that he would become a fashion designer.
Raf Simons debuted the first collection for his eponymous brand for Fall/Winter 1995. The show was inspired by the Catholic school uniforms of his youth and would be the first of many times Simons drew from his schoolboy uniform for inspiration.
Simons carried on, reaching more people with each collection, becoming a fan favorite among fashion insiders.Things came to a head with his Fall/Winter 2001 “Riot, Riot, Riot” collection. The show featured models in masks wearing baggy layers and oversized bombers. Many of the garments featured patches that featured images and set lists of the glam punk band Manic Street Preachers. In Simons’ Fall/Winter 2003 “Closer” collection, he included parks that featured New Order album covers on the back. Simons was transparent in displaying his musical taste in his work.
Despite having his own label, Simons is notorious for taking on other projects. So far in his career he has designed for Jil Sander, Dior and Calvin Klein. While the latter two stints were relatively short-lived, he recently joined Prada as co-creative director with Miuccia Prada. Through decades of work at his own labels and others, Simons has amassed a body of work that is comparable to the greatest designers of all time. Considering his industry-altering collections, aesthetic foresight and many grails he’s given produced, we love Raf.
Why did Raf Simons leave Dior?
Simons was reportedly exhausted by the pace and demanding schedule required to continue on in his role at Dior. He also wanted to focus on his eponymous label and personal life.
How old is Raf Simons?
Raf Simons was born on January 12, 1968.
When was Raf Simons created?
Raf Simons showed his first collection in 1995.