Ladies, check on your kings: Raf Simons is shuttering his namesake brand. After three remarkable decades spent modeling the industry to his barrier-breaking vision, the eponymous Belgian brand will be shutting its famous doors down, meaning that the presentation of rap’s favorite designer’s Spring 2023 collection, mere weeks ago in London, was his last to be ever seen on the runway under his flagship house.
The revered designer needs no real introduction, even to the least enthusiastic followers of fashion. Since the founding of his luxury label back in 1995, Simons’ menswear ranges have been seen coating some of the world’s most esteemed personalities, especially in the pop culture arena, counting the likes of Rihanna, Kanye, and A$AP Rocky (who dedicated an entire song to the designer) as some of the brand’s most devoted customers. Having inked deals with Adidas, ASICS, and even Fred Perry in the past, the Belgian icon made a name for himself by placing the youth, as well as its subsequent surrounding culture, at the forefront of his sartorial identity by always accurately spotting the trend that will represent younger generations on the global stage.
Last night, the 54-year-old couturier surprised the world by announcing that his recently introduced ready-to-wear line, presented in one of the United Kingdom’s rave epicenters Printworks, was his final one, putting a stop to a 27-year-old chapter in his life. In a concise post, the former Dior collaborator expressed his gratitude towards his “team, from (his) collaborators, from the press and buyers, from (his) friends and family and from (his) devoted fans and loyal followers,” before ending with a mysterious send-off, wrapping his statement up with a promising “forward always” farewell.
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Although the reasons behind the sudden exit are yet to have been explained or detailed, rumors have been claiming that pressure coupled with the industry’s busy rhythm might represent some of the main incentives behind the unexpected end of Simons’ namesake brand. Working closely, and very regularly with Prada, as creative director of the Italian house, it’s safe to say that the Neerpelt-born designer won’t be bored anytime soon even if the fashion community is still sad to see such a cultural-defining institution reach its end.