Anna Wintour excited by Raf Simons’ Prada partnership

Anna Wintour is looking forward to seeing Raf Simons’ first collaboration with Prada later in the year.Last month, the Belgian fashion designer announced he would be joining Miuccia Prada as the new co-creative director of the Italian luxury house, wit…

Anna Wintour is looking forward to seeing Raf Simons’ first collaboration with Prada later in the year.

Last month, the Belgian fashion designer announced he would be joining Miuccia Prada as the new co-creative director of the Italian luxury house, with Simons to officially begin work in April.

Reflecting on the move in a clip for her Go Ask Anna video series, Wintour gushed over the “brilliant” concept.

“I think the collaboration between Raf and Miuccia is brilliant and really is going to help redefine what fashion can mean, and fashion can be. It’s following an uncharted territory,” she commented. “It’s challenging all the corporate sensibilities of, either you have to find a designer who follows respectfully in a designer who has gone before, or alternatively, one that’s going to come in and throw everything out. This is the idea of community and conversation and respect for each other and respect for the amazing work that they have both done. And I think we should all be humbled by their decision as well as being unbelievably excited to be in Milan in September.”

Simons previously served as creative director for the likes of Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, and Jil Sander.

Elsewhere in the clip, Wintour was asked about the topics that keep her “up at night”, and accordingly, the U.S. Vogue editor-in-chief noted that she is often preoccupied by changes occurring in the social and political spheres.

“Obviously this is a moment of great transformation and challenges for the fashion industry and indeed the world at large,” the 70-year-old added. “So, in that respect there are opportunities, a moment for creativity and resetting and thinking about how we all go about our jobs in a completely different way. And I also think it’s our responsibility at Conde Nast and specifically at Vogue, to think how we can support each other, how we can support all the young talent that we work so closely with.”

© Cover Media

Raf Simons disliked pressure from the press while at Dior

Raf Simons disliked the pressure he received from members of the press while he was creative director at Dior.The Belgian designer started his career in furniture design, before launching his namesake menswear label and later going on to land creative …

Raf Simons disliked the pressure he received from members of the press while he was creative director at Dior.

The Belgian designer started his career in furniture design, before launching his namesake menswear label and later going on to land creative director roles at Jil Sander, Christian Dior, and Calvin Klein.

Reflecting on his time at the French fashion house between 2012 and 2015, Simons admitted that he disliked how much press interaction he was expected to do to promote each collection.

“When I was at Dior, I felt there was an incredible pressure from the outside on me to be with me while I was designing, while I was in the studio,” he said during a Fashion Talks discussion in Antwerp, Belgium, according to WWD. “Press wanted to be there, the press wanted to be at the fittings. Then you do all the previews, speak with all the press days before the show. I didn’t like that at all. It was mainly because one designer was very much at ease with it. I don’t criticise people from doing it but because other people do something, it should not be a system for everybody.”

The 51-year-old, who starred in Dior and I, a 2014 documentary film about his debut season at the house, appeared to be alluding to the late Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, although many creative directors host press previews ahead of runway presentations.

Despite working at the luxury fashion houses, Simons made sure he held onto his eponymous label, because he didn’t want to lose it like John Galliano, who was fired from Dior and his namesake brand after he was caught making anti-Semitic remarks in 2011.

“Towards the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, we got a lot of proposals, but being in different positions as creative directors taught me how dangerous it can be when you marry in business,” he stated. “I mean, prior to me, John (Galliano) was a big example. He lost his own brand because he sold it for the majority and that’s something I will never forget.”

© Cover Media

Raf Simons discusses post-Calvin Klein plans

Raf Simons has spoken about his post-Calvin Klein plans for the first time.The Belgian designer started his career in furniture design, before launching his namesake menswear label and later going on to land creative director roles at Jil Sander, Chris…

Raf Simons has spoken about his post-Calvin Klein plans for the first time.

The Belgian designer started his career in furniture design, before launching his namesake menswear label and later going on to land creative director roles at Jil Sander, Christian Dior, and the American fashion house.

However, Simons abruptly parted ways from Klein in December (18) after a two-year stint, and in a new interview with The Guardian, he has shared how he is now focused on his eponymous brand and collaboration with Danish textile company Kvadrat.

“It frees you up if you go and do something different,” he said of the Kvadrat/Raf Simons collection, which is comprised of upholstery, cushions, and throws, and his other upcoming projects. “But also, I’ve never officially defined myself as a fashion designer, maybe because I didn’t study it.”

Simons did not comment directly on his exit from Klein, with the company now undergoing a major revamp and shifting focus from high-end fashion and runway couture to denim and underwear.

Yet, the fashion star indicated in the chat that he didn’t miss the fast pace of the house and the responsibility of overseeing collections throughout the year.

“(Fashion has) been changing since the ’90s,” the 51-year-old commented. “In the past, a designer made a collection and presented it to a small audience of professionals, then one picture appeared in a magazine, and months later the clothes came to the shops. Oh my God, the desire that created! Now everyone sees the runway show right away, and by the time the clothes are available, people have moved on to something else. This fast communication, it’s exciting but it can be dangerous, too. Damaging.”

In addition, Simons noted that he is expanding his art collection and is considering setting up his own public museum.

© Cover Media

Paul Surridge confirms exit from Roberto Cavalli

Paul Surridge is leaving Roberto Cavalli after almost two years at the brand.The British designer joined the Italian label in May 2017, succeeding Peter Dundas as creative director. However, rumours began to swirl last week (ends24Mar19) that Surridge …

Paul Surridge is leaving Roberto Cavalli after almost two years at the brand.

The British designer joined the Italian label in May 2017, succeeding Peter Dundas as creative director.

However, rumours began to swirl last week (ends24Mar19) that Surridge was looking to exit his post, and on Monday (25Mar19), he took to Instagram to confirm his plans.

“I have given much consideration to this decision and reached the conclusion that the mission I have signed has changed and enters a new direction with a new perspective (sic),” he wrote. “I now wish to focus on other projects that I put aside in order to achieve our common goals with Roberto Cavalli Group. It has been an honour to work for this iconic Florentine company with a unique heritage. I want to thank everyone who has made this journey possible, the internal teams and especially Gian Giacomo Ferraris who has given me outstanding support and will remain a mentor.”

Representatives for Roberto Cavalli Group and chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris have yet to comment on Surridge’s departure.

In the days leading up to the designer’s exit, editors at WWD reported that his decision was due to a lack of investment in the development and refurbishment of the store network, as well as in marketing and communications. He was also alleged to have been unhappy about the level of support offered to the design team.

“The decision last summer to look for an external investor and, more recently, to not provide any more funding have made the original project impossible, and therefore triggered Paul’s decision to look elsewhere,” one source divulged to the fashion publication.

Prior to joining Cavalli, Surridge predominantly worked in the menswear departments for labels including Prada, Burberry, Calvin Klein, and Jil Sander. In June 2018, the designer unveiled a full menswear line for Roberto Cavalli, and most recently showed a collection as part of Milan Fashion Week in February.

© Cover Media

Gucci gets aggressive as masks and collars rule the runway

Gucci displayed its aggressive side as it showcased masks and spiked collars in its fall/winter 2019 men’s and women’s runway show at Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday (20Feb19).Models walked the runway with their faces covered, while others sported dang…

Gucci displayed its aggressive side as it showcased masks and spiked collars in its fall/winter 2019 men’s and women’s runway show at Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday (20Feb19).

Models walked the runway with their faces covered, while others sported dangerous silver spiked collars with their eye-catching outfits.

Among the outfits showcased was a colourful harlequin style dress, paired with a fur coat and black mask, with the model carrying a pair of sneakers by the laces as she hit the runway. Colour was an important part of Michele’s presentation, with a red leather skirt suit another standout piece of the collection. The two-piece was finished off with a pair of matching red leather knee-high boots, a fur scarf and a red mask concealing the model’s face.

Speaking about the inspiration for the show afterwards to reporters, creative director Alessandro Michele explained: “I think it came from a reflection on dressing, the notion of appearance, us(ing) the metaphor of the mask to talk (the idea of clothing) as a mask that shows something about both the inside and the outside (of a person) at the same time… It is both concave and convex.”

Things were more muted on the men’s side of things, with pastel-coloured outfits including a pair of powder blue trousers teamed with a pink patterned jacket, and a blue and pink striped jumper worn alongside another pair of blue pants, this time with a subtle metallic embellishment.

Alberta Ferretti was another designer who showcased in Milan on Wednesday. The designer, who is trying to appeal to a younger market, offered up a muted colour palette of creams and greys, with military-inspired separates including jackets and gloves. The trouser appeared to be Ferretti’s main focus in the collection, with variations on the pant such as high waist, paper-bag waist, pleated, jodhpur and patchwork leather.

“I dress women for evening and I’ve done that and am known for that,” Ferretti said backstage. “I also want to dress her for every aspect of the day in a more eccentric, personal style. I think across lots of cultures and bring lots of elements. Women today reinterpret the proposals of designers so it’s a give-and-take.”

Meanwhile, Jil Sander also debuted its fall collection, with designers Lucie and Luke Meier offering up a graphic, minimal range, with 3-D coats and a white crew neck dress among the stand-out pieces.

Milan Fashion Week continues on Thursday with shows from Prada, Moschino, Max Mara, and Emporio Armani.

© Cover Media

Raf Simons used to find ‘fashion designer’ title upsetting

Raf Simons used to get upset when people would refer to him as a fashion designer. The 50-year-old started off as a furniture designer before he went to his first fashion show in 1991, which inspired him to launch his own eponymous menswear label in 1…

Raf Simons used to get upset when people would refer to him as a fashion designer. 

The 50-year-old started off as a furniture designer before he went to his first fashion show in 1991, which inspired him to launch his own eponymous menswear label in 1995.

He also went on to do stints as creative director at labels including Jil Sander and Dior, and has proved to be immensely popular at Calvin Klein, where he’s served since 2016. However, Simons has now admitted that he formerly struggled with the title he had decided to assume in the fashion world.

“It’s always on my mind, is this what you do?” he confessed in an interview with The New York Times. “In a way, I don’t think I’m a fashion designer. I used to be so upset when people called me that. Now it doesn’t matter so much.”

The Belgian star explained that he was interested in pursuing other ventures such as art and music, as in his opinion, the “actual practice” of working as a designer has changed so much.

In spite of this, Simons also acknowledged the appeal of working for big-name brands, and his Calvin Klein shows are often some of the most anticipated of the fashion calendar. And while he used to struggle with negative feedback, he is now content as long as there is “a dialogue”.

“It’s my choice, my responsibility,” he said. “Clearly, I am attracted to it. I imagine there are people who think I was selling out by coming here, but it’s not such a problem for me. Not that I don’t care. I care a lot. But I don’t care so much about the fact people have an opinion. I actually admire people who have an opinion, even if it’s against me. The problem now in fashion is everything gets judged immediately.”

© Cover Media

Jil Sander talks career beginnings as label turns 50

Jil Sander’s trailblazing fashion career was borne out of her need for a decent pair of trousers.This year (18) marks the 50th anniversary of Sander’s namesake label, which she established in her native Hamburg in 1968. Over the past five decades, the…

Jil Sander’s trailblazing fashion career was borne out of her need for a decent pair of trousers.

This year (18) marks the 50th anniversary of Sander’s namesake label, which she established in her native Hamburg in 1968.

Over the past five decades, the designer has redefined women’s fashion, opting to create modern and minimalist pieces instead of unwearable clothes.

“In the ’60s, as a woman, you couldn’t find a decent pair of trousers. In order to be taken seriously, I felt, I needed a less ornamented wardrobe,” she told star2.com of her career beginnings.

To celebrate 50 years, Sander recently put on her first-ever solo exhibition, titled Jil Sander: Present Tense, at Frankfurt’s Museum Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts).

More than 10,000 visitors attended the retrospective, with museum director Matthias Wagner K praising the 74-year-old as “one of the most important fashion designers of her generation”.

Over her time in fashion, Sander has often been hailed as a feminist thanks to her masculine-inspired pieces and penchant for a muted palette. However, it’s not a title she ever uses herself.

“I would hesitate to call myself a feminist because my nature isn’t militant. We should work together,” she said, adding that she “never felt at a disadvantage” to male colleagues.

In 1999, the Prada Group bought a large stake in Sander’s brand, which led to the designer exiting her label soon after. She came back for a short stint in 2003 but left again the following year.

While she no longer heads up the label, she has kept busy with other projects, including designing for Uniqlo for two years from 2009.

Hinting that another collaboration may be on the cards, she teased that she still lives in her Uniqlo pieces but is “slowly getting desperate for new pieces”.

© Cover Media

Brock Collection eyes international expansion with new licensing deal

Brock Collection is looking to make a major international expansion.The Los Angeles-based fashion brand was established by Laura Vassar Brock and Kristopher Brock in 2014, with the couple quickly winning acclaim for their sophisticated yet whimsical ae…

Brock Collection is looking to make a major international expansion.

The Los Angeles-based fashion brand was established by Laura Vassar Brock and Kristopher Brock in 2014, with the couple quickly winning acclaim for their sophisticated yet whimsical aesthetic and taking home the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2016.

Now, Laura and Kris are gearing up to make a splash outside of the U.S. and have signed a licensing deal with Onward Luxury Group (OLG), with the intention of making moves within Europe and the Middle East.

“The timing is really crucial for us,” said Laura of the exclusive agreement, according to Business of Fashion. “We’ve reached a place in our business where we’re ready to grow on a different level.”

OLG is based in Italy and is a subsidiary of Japanese group Onward Holdings. As well as producing an eponymous line, the company has made clothes for many major brands, including Calvin Klein, Sonia Rykiel and Paul Smith, while it also owns Jil Sander and Joseph.

Going forward, the Brock Collection designers want to double sales over the next three years and launch an accessories collection.

According to Kris the OLG partnership with allow him and Laura to focus their attention on developing the creative side of their business.

“Before, as any startup, we had our hands in everything,” he said. “The line plans are growing slightly and we’re going to dive deeper into categories that are high-performance, like dresses, knits and denim.”

Celebrity fans of Brock Collection include Margot Robbie, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Olsen and Jessica Alba, with the garments currently stocked in retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Net-a-Porter.

Prior to launching their company, Kris sharpened his skills as a tailor while freelance assisting Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenberg and Tommy Hilfiger, and Laura worked under designer Olivier Theyskens during his tenure at Theory.

© Cover Media

Tomas Maier collaborating with Uniqlo on collection

Tomas Maier is teaming up with Uniqlo on a new apparel collection.The German designer is the latest fashion star to partner with the Japanese brand, which has previously collaborated with big names such as Jonathan Anderson, Jil Sander, and Carine Roit…

Tomas Maier is teaming up with Uniqlo on a new apparel collection.

The German designer is the latest fashion star to partner with the Japanese brand, which has previously collaborated with big names such as Jonathan Anderson, Jil Sander, and Carine Roitfeld.

Maier, who is the creative director of Bottega Veneta as well as the founder of his own eponymous label, confirmed his latest project on Tuesday (20Feb18) and revealed that the line will feature womenswear and menswear pieces as well as a range of accessories.

“Uniqlo has always offered their customers affordability and a designer point of view. This is just about a moment in time of getting together,” he told Business of Fashion, adding that he believed the collection would appeal to “anyone who appreciates a casually thoughtful product.”

The line was designed within the framework of Uniqlo’s LifeWear concept, which champions the brand’s desire to design clothes that will enhance everyday life.

“LifeWear embodies our belief that individuality comes not from clothes, but the people wearing them. That’s why we devote our energies to creating clothes that people will enjoy and value for a long time,” shared Yuki Katsuta, group senior vice president of fast retailing and head of global research and design at Uniqlo.

Maier has achieved great success at Bottega Veneta since joining the company in 2001, with the Italian label the fastest growing business in the Kering luxury group, beating fashion houses including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen.

However, the designer has acknowledged the difference between creating high-end garments and high street pieces, and “(stuck) to the rules of manufacturing to make the product affordable,” in his latest venture.

“You have to be even more thoughtful as you’re addressing such a huge audience,” he explained.

© Cover Media