When Raf touched down in NYC last February, the entire menswear set, for the first time in probably a decade, had their gaze firmly fixed on New York. Following his appointment as chief creative officer at Calvin Klein, Simons announced he had transplanted his eponymous menswear label from his native Belgium to New York and would take a slot at the otherwise nonessential New York Fashion Week: Men's. Naturally, the fashion world lost their collective shit and Raf's first NYC runway collection became the most talked about of the season.

The collection is essentially a meditation on how foreigners and immigrants—much like Simons himself—view America, and New York City in particular. Playing on themes of modern art, tourist cliche and stereotype, the clothes evoke a not entirely positive view of the Big Apple, which is more than fair given the current political climate. The classic "I Love New York" logo is spliced onto an oversized knit sweater, almost as if to echo James Murphy in saying, "New York, I love you, but you're bringing me down." A duct tape-esque material, easily the most American of all household appliances, appears liberally throughout the collection. On a black bomber, Simons reworks the American Flag in grayscale, but rather than stars opposite the stripes, text reads "ANY WAY OUT OF THIS NIGHTMARE?"in perhaps the most direct reference to Simons' current opinion on the state of the union.

Aside from political undertones, the core of the collection continues in the vein of the past few seasons, with clean, straight-leg bottoms, oversize shirting, jackets in vintage patterns and puffers taken to extraordinary proportions. Of note are the mismatched, oversize hoodies and aforementioned bomber, which will most assuredly reach grail status in the near future.

For those unwilling to wait until these hit retailers mid-summer, Antonolio has already launched a pre-sale, with a majority of the collection still available. While you wait, peep our hall of fame selection of Raf below and rest assured that F/W 17 will end up on the site sooner than later.

Tags: raf-simons