In a new interview with AnOther, the designer expands on his decision to step down from his eponymous brand
In November of last year, Raf Simons closed his namesake label with little explanation, broadcasting the news on Instagram in a sparse post which thanked his team and followers for the memories. Though many assumed that Simons was prepping to take over Prada (sans Miuccia) the designer had long been critical of the pressure that fashion places on its designers. And after 27 years, Simons had given enough. Now, in a new interview with AnOther, the designer expands on his decision to step down: “It was a very difficult moment,” he said. “At the same time we danced, we had champagne – because I also felt very sure about doing this.”
“I wanted to change my life. Being independent in a small brand that is so in need of me daily, it’s emotionally, psychologically, a very different kind of situation than when I’m a creative director in a brand,” he added, reflecting on his tenures at Dior, Calvin Klein, Jil Sander, and Prada. Though Simons had considered selling the company to a big conglomerate, he also knew that would have meant severing its soul. “The real reason is that I wanted to have a little bit more of a life for my love, for my parents, for my dogs, for my friends. To be able to travel and move a little bit. To not always have to say to people, ‘I can’t, too much work.’ That’s the main reason.” It would seem Raf Simons doesn’t want to not be in a situation for even an hour where he’s not enjoying himself.
In a statement that will stir hope in grailed.com users, the designer refused to rule out the possibility of the brand returning at some point in the future – be that via art, music, or clothing. “I don’t want to sound pretentious, but I constantly have ideas for Raf Simons,” the designer explained, and it would seem Miuccia, too, would like to see that happen. “She said, ‘It’s amazing. It’s yours. You just stopped the whole thing. Within two or three years, you miss it, you come back. You can do whatever you want’.”
Elsewhere, the designer rolled back the tape on his debut fashion show, staged in a “crappy” youth club-slash-underground theatre in Paris, and his swansong collection, which was hosted at Printworks in London. The parallels, he said, were accidental. “Not to be critical – but probably, inevitably, to be critical – I think that everything became very hierarchical in terms of how brands deal with their audiences,” he explained. ”And I didn’t really want it for the London show. In terms of, ‘OK, what’s the hierarchy of the seating? Who sits where?’ I just said, ‘Let as many people in as possible, as many as security will allow, all kinds of people.’ Which was always the idea.”
On sale internationally from March 23, the SS23 edition of AnOther magazine is fronted by cover stars Shygirl, Cate Blanchett, Yves Tumor, and Diego Calva, with further interviews from Nicolas Di Felice, Willy Chavarria, Yohji Yamamoto, Raul Lopez, and Karoline Vitto. You can pre-order the magazine here.