Inspirational Creatives: Raf Simons

Finding a combination between an innovative approach in design across multiple fields for different audiences. Raf Simons, the current creative leader at Calvin Klein and director of his own label is a heavyweight that fits the position to kick off our ‘Inspirational creativesʼ section on this blog in which we like to share some inspiring stories that relate each in their way to our philosophy.

Simonsʼ story starts back in 1991 when he graduates in Industrial Design and Furniture Design in his home country Belgium. During his studies he already got into contact with the fashion industry while he did an internship for Walter van Beirendonck. As a young professional he then worked as a furniture designer for various galleries before launching his own label in 1995.

The brand always included themes as ‘performance, art, innovation, individualityʼ and so on which led to the development of a strong recognisable brand. Besides his own name label Raf Simons created multiple successful collaborative collections with brands as Adidas, Fred Perry and Asics.

In 2005 the big breakthrough arrived when Simons became the creative director of fashion house Jil Sander. For the next 7 years Simons managed to put a statement in the fashion world through his minimalist approach in the collections for the German label. Then a new chapter awaits from April 2012. Simons is hired as creative director for Dior, a label that gives the opportunity to showcase a new approach for a well known classic silhouette.

More recently, in 2015 Simons than stepped down to put his focus towards his own label to be recently (August 2016) announced as the chief creative officer at iconic American brand Calvin Klein where heʼll be responsible for the complete brand, from the Ready-to-wear to the Home collection.

Kvadrat/Raf Simons Vidar 3

This brief overview contains a few highlights in an interesting ongoing career that continuously looks for a way between tradition and innovation. As a young brand we find inspiration in the way a creative like Simons developed an approach that values traditional techniques and high quality craftsmanship while innovating materials and design to give a fresh look to well known products.