Belgian designer Raf Simons to close fashion brand

Legendary Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons has announced that he will close his eponymous fashion brand after "an extraordinary 27-year journey". The designer gave no further explanations.

"The Spring/Summer 2023 collection is the conclusion of an extraordinary 27-year journey and the final season of the Raf Simons fashion brand," the designer told his 1,1 million followers on Instagram.

Known for his youthful androgynous aesthetics, the Neerpelt-born designer worked alongside industry legends such as Jil Sander, Dior, and Calvin Klein. In 2020, he became co-creative director of Italian design house Prada.

It is not clear why the Belgian designer decided to close his fashion brand, which is now known across the world, but he thanked his supporters for their efforts in developing the brand over nearly three decades.

"I lack the words to share how proud I am of all that we have achieved. I am grateful for the incredible support from my team… Thank you all, for believing in our vision and in me," Simons said. The Raf Simons brand was first launched in 1995.

The designer had recently postponed the last show of his brand, scheduled to take place in London in September, due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The event went ahead in October, during the London Frieze Art Fair. According to Vogue magazine, Simons is expected to appear at a Prada menswear show in January.

Fashion designers and celebrities have been quick to pay tribute to the Belgian designer, leaving comments of support on the Instagram post. American designer Marc Jacobs called the Simons "inspiring". Givenchy Creative Director Matthew Williams, American rapper ASAP Rocky, basketball player Kyle Kuzuma, and other celebrities also lauded Simons.

According to Vogue, the short Instagram post will be the only official communication concerning the end of the brand.


Belgian designer Raf Simons © PHOTO AFP / FRANCOIS GUILLOT

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