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Raf Simons Steps Back From Fashion

Raf Simons Steps Back From Fashion

Many brands and designers put an end to an era in 2022 to begin a new chapter in their lives. Alessandro Michele and Miuccia Prada resigned from their roles, leaving the fashion industry wondering who’ll take their place. Raf Simons steps back from his fashion label after 27 years of dominance. The closing of his fashion label which was one of the biggest surprises to be revealed in November 2022.

After his final presentation in London for his spring/summer 2023 show, the Belgian fashion designer shocked the world by posting on Instagram that he would be closing his brand. He is renowned for introducing his modest menswear line in 1995, captured on 8mm film. Over the years, his outerwear quickly rose to the top of the line. Although the cause of his decision is unknown, many believe it was due to financial difficulties. Prior designers like Zac Posen and Sies Marjan have openly acknowledged closing their stores for a similar cause.

On the other hand, when Raf Simons steps back, he may prefer to devote all his time to his position as creative director at Prada. He and Miuccia Prada, who just resigned as CEO, have worked together as co-creative directors at Prada for three years. The friendship between Raf and Miuccia has always been natural. Raf has expressed how he feels more at ease making decisions as a team than by himself at his label.

Raf Simons Steps Back

At Prada, Raf is in charge of a minimum of four collections annually. At Dior, he was responsible for six collections annually while also overseeing his personal business. The switch allowed him to slow down and have more time to produce ideas, which wasn’t the case before. It is vital to note that he used this chance to slow down and re-evaluate his priorities. He needed to safeguard his life separate from the world of fashion. He did not hold back while venting his anger at the fashion industry’s frantic speed when he told Cathy Horyn, “You have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important.”

Raf’s original creative urge was not, however, for fashion. At LUCA School of Arts, he first majored in Industrial and Furniture Design before moving into industrial design. Raf’s later fascination with post-punk culture and underground techno scenes helped him break into the fashion industry. He challenged himself with a different form of creativity and is still one of the most well-known fashion designers. He would flit in and out of fashion, returning to his origins and then reverting because he couldn’t stay away from his newly discovered love of fashion for too long. Raf rarely had time to pursue other interests, such as school. He was busy developing collections for other labels, including Jil Sander, Dior, and Calvin Klein.

Speaking to Vogue, Raf also talks about spending Christmas in London before heading to Tokyo to see the year out. He discusses how carrying two brands on his shoulders prevented him from taking such journeys.

 “It was the first time in 27 years that I was even able to travel in December: usually, it’s not possible. Now, with the closing of my own brand, I could move a little bit.” 

Vogue Magazine, Jan 2023

Raf’s Future

His decision to shut down his brand was justifiable because it provided him more flexibility to enjoy life. Due to the quick-paced nature of fashion, designers frequently work nonstop and are always moving on to the next project. As a result, they don’t often have the opportunity to relax or take breaks, which is bad for their physical and mental health. Raf Simons is a great illustration of how cutting back is acceptable after pursing the fashion industry for more than 25 years. It is true of all occupations and career pathways. At an early age, we are all required to choose our futures, often without knowing which one to take. Additionally, we are supposed to advance in our careers for the rest of our lives, which is exhausting in the long term.

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Raf also spoke to the New York times about his transition out of fashion:

‘I keep thinking of things I would like to do that is not fashion. Making movies, making art, the practice of making something.’

New York Times,

This phase in his life is ideal for trying new things and getting to know himself better. With the Danish textile company Kyadrat, he has been creating homeware. It’s a project he might develop further or continue with Sterling Ruby in the art world. Additionally, he has mentioned protecting and keeping the archives of his brand.

So, what can we take away from this? Working tirelessly to accomplish our life goals may pay off in the long term. If you don’t take the time to enjoy life outside of your goals, you could quickly lose sight of what you are striving to achieve. It can be tiring and exhausting, particularly for individuals who work in a creative field. These exact emotions aren’t new with designers like Alexander McQueen and Kate Spade, who regrettably struggled with their mental health. It is crucial to normalise taking breaks because we are frequently encouraged to push through to get what we desire.

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