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Raf Simons Dior and I film still
Still from “Dior and I”Courtesy of Dogwoof

How Raf Simons’ uni work ended up on Grailed for $100k

We spoke to the seller who listed the ultimate grail

What’s the ultimate rare cop for a Raf Simons collector? A camo Riot! Riot! Riot! bomber? Or maybe a Peter Saville parka? How about his graduate furniture collection, produced while he was studying at university?

Sounds like the kind of thing that’d be locked away in some atmosphere-controlled vault, right? Wrong, actually – one of the conceptual pieces has apparently found its way to hypebeast marketplace Grailed, as pointed out by one Twitter user this weekend.

The listing advertises a cabinet from “Raf Simons’ thesis from his graduation in Genk (1991)” – where he studied industrial and furniture design at the LUCA School of Arts – “A series of accessory cabinets with four upright metal tubes ‘dressed’ with different materials.” It features images of one piece, complete with a sticker bearing Raf’s instantly recognisable logo. “It’s one of 5 pieces, we also have the other four. As well as two sofas.”

The owner of the pieces is Antwerp-based Max Reynders, a designer who says he acquired the items through his dad. 

“My father graduated in the same class with Raf in 1991, both as furniture designers. (My dad still designs and makes furniture @casimir.be). When Raf had plans to move to NYC in 1999 he gave them to my father. In 2010 the pieces were given to us, his kids. As they will be 30 years old next year we wanted to share them with the world.”

“When Raf had plans to move to NYC in 1999 he gave them to my father. In 2010 the pieces were given to us, his kids. As they will be 30 years old next year we wanted to share them with the world” – Max Reynders

Posting the cabinet on Grailed with a high price tag, he says, was “merely a move to generate attention”. It was a successful one: “It worked, faster and bigger then we expected. However, it is funny to see how a price like this generates this much attention. It seems that most are just blown away by the number (than) by (the) work itself. While in fact, it's clear to see, how a furniture designer graduate, mixed his senior thesis with fashion-like silhouettes many years before he started to fully focus in to fashion design.”

The collection is called Corpo, a reference to corpus which is Latin for body. As explored in the video below, there are certainly parallels to fashion in the furniture pieces.

Reynders, who has a label MXDVS, is a fan of Simons. And as for whether a sale is really the goal, he says the main focus is to bring awareness. “We think it is a big part of his journey so far.”

Simons, of course, isn’t the only iconic designer to have created furniture in their earlier years – two chairs by Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo sold at auction last year for $18,750 and $15,600 respectively.

View more images of the collection on @rafsimonscorpo