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.”

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Raf Simons named as co-creative director of Prada

Raf Simons is to join Miuccia Prada as the new co-creative director of Prada.The surprise news was announced during a press conference held on the last day of Milan Fashion Week, with Miuccia explaining to reporters that she had been in discussions wit…

Raf Simons is to join Miuccia Prada as the new co-creative director of Prada.

The surprise news was announced during a press conference held on the last day of Milan Fashion Week, with Miuccia explaining to reporters that she had been in discussions with the Belgian designer for more than a year.

The duo will share “equal responsibilities for creative input and decision-making” at the Italian luxury label, with Raf to officially begin work on 2 April. They will unveil their joint spring/summer 2021 collection in September.

“I am so thrilled and looking forward to September,” the 70-year-old shared. “We like each other, we respect each other, and we will see if we go somewhere.”

Miuccia also denied that the decision to hire the fashion star was made as preparation for her eventual retirement.

It was rumoured earlier this year that Raf, who previously served as creative director for the likes of Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, and Jil Sander, would be leading the Prada-owned label Miu Miu.

And with regards to the length of his contract, Miuccia told WWD: “In theory, it’s forever.”

During the press conference, Raf also explained that he had wanted to team up with the iconic designer to create a strong business that focuses on creativity.

“The fashion industry is moving more and more toward an industry that might end up excluding creatives,” the 52-year-old explained. “We think we should not forget in this business about creativity.”

Meanwhile, a statement released to accompany the news insisted that Prada’s values were “perfectly in tune” with Miuccia and Raf, who have a history of “reinvention, provocation, brave exploration and the power of ideas”.

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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.”

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Marc Jacobs thrilled to receive compliments on his quirky outfits

Marc Jacobs was delighted when a member of the public recently complimented him on his outfit.The New York-based fashion designer has been sharing his outfit of the day (OOTD) on his Instagram page, with many of his looks incorporating pieces from othe…

Marc Jacobs was delighted when a member of the public recently complimented him on his outfit.

The New York-based fashion designer has been sharing his outfit of the day (OOTD) on his Instagram page, with many of his looks incorporating pieces from other designers.

But while Jacobs is used to having people praise his namesake line, he was stunned on Monday when a man stopped him and raved about his bold ensemble.

“Absolutely true story. I left my shrink (therapist) this morning and a large red haired, blue eyed man who works for the sanitation department was loading garbage on the truck. I noticed him staring at me and assumed immediately he was ‘a hater,'” he wrote on his Instagram page. “Turns out as I got closer and passed him, he said, ‘Love that outfit man, you go flex for those b**ches!’ Really made me smile. I ‘dress up’ for me, and I love the attention I get. I love when people appreciate my #OOTD’s.”

In the accompanying picture, Jacobs is seen posing in jeans, a blazer, and a coat from Celine, a sweater by Raf Simons for Jil Sander, and boots from Rick Owens. He topped off the outfit with a red leather The Pillow bag from his own accessories line.

Previously, Jacobs opened up about his skincare regime in a video for Vogue.com and noted that he is all for experimenting with a variety of different products.

“I love to sit for hours and get my make-up done,” the 56-year-old said in the clip, before demonstrating how he dabs on the Marc Jacobs Beauty Accomplice Concealer & Touch-Up Stick on any under-eye circles. “I love to do drag, and I love to do make-up and costume. Dressing up and self-expression is such a big deal to me. I mean, I’m a designer and one of the things I love about clothes is the transformative quality that they have. You can kind of be this person you want to be in the creative choices you make. And, of course, make-up to me, is the final accessory in any kind of fashion look.”

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Mary Quant to receive lifetime achievement award

Mary Quant is to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural World Fashion Awards (WFA). The iconic British designer, who revolutionised fashion in the ’60s and reintroduced colourful clothes to post-war Britain, will receive the ho…

Mary Quant is to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural World Fashion Awards (WFA).

The iconic British designer, who revolutionised fashion in the ’60s and reintroduced colourful clothes to post-war Britain, will receive the honour at London’s Savoy Theatre on 18 September.

The WFA organisers said they selected Quant for the award in recognition of her “amazing journey as a powerful role model for the working woman, challenging conventions, whilst popularising the miniskirt, colourful tights, and tailored trousers” and to celebrate her role in “encouraging a new age of feminism”.

“It is such an honour to receive this award from the World Fashion Awards. It has been a privilege to have spent my life doing what I love and enjoy with so many extraordinarily talented and passionate people,” she said in a statement.

The award comes months after officials at the V&A Museum in London opened the first international retrospective about the designer, which features over 200 garments and accessories, including unseen pieces from her personal archive. It is open until February 2020.

Quant isn’t the only honorary award winner – Dame Vivienne Westwood is set to receive the Outstanding Contribution to Fashion prize at the ceremony.

The World Fashion Awards aims to celebrate the achievements of established and emerging fashion brands, outlets, designers, models, manufacturers, and influencers, and the winners of each category will be voted for by the general public.

Nominees for Womenswear Designer of the Year include Marc Jacobs, Elie Saab, Clare Waight Keller, Victoria Beckham, and Richard Quinn, while those competing for Menswear Designer of the Year include Rick Owens, Virgil Abloh, Raf Simons, Ozwald Boateng, and Riccardo Tisci.

The shortlist for International Fashion Icon Award includes Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Priyanka Chopra and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

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Calvin Klein won’t hire another high-profile creative director

Calvin Klein has no plans to hire another high-profile creative director following the exit of Raf Simons.During the Belgian designer’s two-year stint at the American label, he helped to take the company in a new direction, introducing an eyewear colle…

Calvin Klein has no plans to hire another high-profile creative director following the exit of Raf Simons.

During the Belgian designer’s two-year stint at the American label, he helped to take the company in a new direction, introducing an eyewear collection and adding edgy flair to the fashion ranges.

But since it was confirmed that Simons was departing the brand in December, executives at the PVH-owned fashion house have undertaken a major restructure, with Calvin Klein’s chief marketing officer Marie Gulin-Merle now indicating that they won’t be seeking to employ another big name to helm the brand.

“The old playbook has to be reinvented,” she said in an interview with Business of Fashion, adding that bosses will look to hire a new designer at some point. “We don’t want to use any of the old recipes.”

Gulin-Merle went on to explain that one of the key strategies for the brand going forward is to focus on the sale of jeans and underwear, as well as the development of the so-called “InCKubator” – which will involve four to six initiatives across the year, with each project involving clothing, retail spaces and “collaborations with tech platforms”.

However, the executive is adamant that the drops will vary from other capsule or limited-edition options currently on the market.

“There isn’t a pre-definition or preconceived recipe,” added Gulin-Merle. “We don’t want to invent the next chapter in a meeting room, isolated. I think the brand is at its best when it connects with culture, and one of InCKubator’s functions is to connect with culture through these communities – not just culture at large, or what we think we know from (Calvin Klein’s headquarters at) 205 West 39th Street.”

The news comes days after a spokesperson for Calvin Klein was forced to issue an apology after fans called out the latest video in the brand’s #MyTruth campaign for “queer-baiting”. The clip showed model Bella Hadid kissing female CGI influencer Lil Miquela, with members of the LGBTQ community outraged by the content.

“We understand and acknowledge how featuring someone who identifies as heterosexual in a same-sex kiss could be perceived as queer-baiting. As a company with a longstanding tradition of advocating for LGTBQ+ rights, it was certainly not our intention to misrepresent the LGTBQ+ community. We sincerely regret any offence we caused,” the rep stated.

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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.

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Calvin Klein shutters runway collection as huge brand shake-up continues

Calvin Klein is shuttering its 205W39NYC collection business, leaving hundreds of employees out of work.In January (19), the company had announced plans to relaunch 205W39NYC under a new name, creative direction and design approach, following the depar…

Calvin Klein is shuttering its 205W39NYC collection business, leaving hundreds of employees out of work.

In January (19), the company had announced plans to relaunch 205W39NYC under a new name, creative direction and design approach, following the departure of chief creative officer Raf Simons.

However, according to editors at WWD, the label has “changed its mind after a thorough review of the entire business” and “has opted to get out of the collection business altogether”.

Following the drastic decision, 50 employees in the New York office and 50 in the Milan office were let go, with Klein planning to shut down the Milan unit completely.

As part of the shake-up, Michelle Kessler-Sanders, president of Calvin Klein 205W39NYC and Calvin Klein by Appointment, will also be leaving the company. It was also reported by WWD that Kessler-Sanders will be staying with the company until June to help the closing down transition, and “may continue to work in an advisory capacity beyond that”.

Calvin Klein by Appointment’s business unit is also set to be shuttered, but a source told the fashion publication that the offshoot “will continue to dress talent and celebrities”.

Simons, who announced his departure from Klein last December, had launched 205W39NYC in 2017, with the label’s parent company PVH Corp. investing between $60 million and $70 million in the business since then – but PVH chairman and chief executive officer Emanuel Chirico later admitted the group saw no return on their investment.

Following Simons’ announcement of his exit, Calvin Klein chief executive officer Steve Shiffman stated that the 205W39NYC label would be relaunched under a new name.

“The new business will focus on connecting directly to all of the other Calvin Klein brands and amplifying each category with unique products and aspirational experiences,” Shiffman said in a memo at the time. “The relaunched business will be designed to evolve the traditional luxury fashion model by connecting with a diverse range of communities, offering an unexpected mix of influences and moving at an accelerated pace.”

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Calvin Klein to close New York flagship as part of brand shake-up

Calvin Klein is to close its New York flagship as part of a major brand overhaul.During designer Raf Simons’ two-year stint at the American label, he helped to take the company in a new direction, introducing an eyewear collection and adding edgy flair…

Calvin Klein is to close its New York flagship as part of a major brand overhaul.

During designer Raf Simons’ two-year stint at the American label, he helped to take the company in a new direction, introducing an eyewear collection and adding edgy flair to the fashion ranges.

But since it was confirmed that Simons was departing the brand in December (18), executives have kicked off a major restructure, with Steve Shiffman, chief executive officer of the PVH-owned fashion house, announcing on Thursday (10Jan19) that Calvin Klein’s flagship boutique on Madison Avenue will be closing in spring 2019.

In addition, the high-end Calvin Klein 205W39NYC label which was overseen by Simons will be relaunched under a new name.

“The new business will focus on connecting directly to all of the other Calvin Klein brands and amplifying each category with unique products and aspirational experiences,” said Shiffman in a memo. “The relaunched business will be designed to evolve the traditional luxury fashion model by connecting with a diverse range of communities, offering an unexpected mix of influences and moving at an accelerated pace.”

Shiffman did not share who will succeed Simons at the creative helm of the label, or a give a date for when his replacement will start.

The businessman went on to explain that Calvin Klein’s leadership team will be adopting a digital-first approach going forward in order to accommodate the needs of today’s consumers and they are also putting in place plans to streamline the North America division of the company by consolidating operations for the men’s Calvin Klein Sportswear and Calvin Klein Jeans categories.

“These strategic initiatives will enable us to run a more modern, dynamic and effective business, as well as allow us to reinvest in the brand,” noted Shiffman.

Looking to the future, Calvin Klein bosses hope to grow the brand to “$12 billion in global retail sales over the next few years”.

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Raf Simons exiting Calvin Klein

Raf Simons is departing Calvin Klein after a two-year stint at the helm.The celebrated designer joined the company in August 2016, and under his leadership, he helped to take the all-American brand in a new direction, introducing an eyewear collection …

Raf Simons is departing Calvin Klein after a two-year stint at the helm.

The celebrated designer joined the company in August 2016, and under his leadership, he helped to take the all-American brand in a new direction, introducing an eyewear collection and adding edgy flair to the fashion ranges.

However, the former Christian Dior head is now leaving his post as chief creative officer.

“Calvin Klein and Raf Simons announced today that Raf Simons is leaving his position as chief creative officer,” a representative for PVH Corp., owner of Calvin Klein, said in a statement late on Friday (21Dec18). “Both parties have amicably decided to part ways after Calvin Klein decided on a new brand direction which differs from Simons’ creative vision.”

Consequently, Calvin Klein will not show during New York Fashion Week in February.

The news comes after reports of growing tensions between the Belgian designer and executives at the fashion house.

Sources told editors at WWD in September that bosses decided to reduce some of Simons’ duties and wanted him to agree to a new contract with fewer responsibilities, with design, visual merchandising, e-commerce, public relations and communications, and corporate social responsibility to be handed over to chief marketing officer Marie Gulin-Merle.

And in November, Emanuel Chirico, chairman and chief executive officer of PVH Corp., stated that Simons’ reimagined Calvin Klein, especially the renamed 205W39NYC line, was not working.

“While many of the product categories performed well, we are disappointed by the lack of return on our investments in our Calvin Klein 205W39NYC halo business and believe that some of Calvin Klein Jeans’ relaunched product was too elevated and did not sell through as well as we planned,” he commented.

In June, Simons was awarded the prize for Womenswear Designer of the Year at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards. He also won Designer of the Year at The Fashion Awards in 2017.

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