Raf Simons’ Rise to Fame

Raf Simons’ Rise to Fame

Born in the small Belgian town of Neerpelt at the end of the 60s, Raf Simons was brought forth in an era of reformation. The decade that followed was seen as a period of swift cultural transformation and structural change - the turning point from a post-war society to a world “after the boom”, a caesura, an era that would mold Raf’s future. As the world shifted from industrialism to the world we know today, Simons spent most of his youth in a record store soaking up the sounds of Joy Division, Kraftwerk, and Black Flag. He’d absorb what was presented to him and translate it into a physical craft, sewing the regalia of his favorite musical acts onto his clothing.
Once done with secondary school, Simons moved to Genk to study Industrial and Furniture design at the LUCA school of arts. During his final year at LUCA, Simons would become acquainted with Walter Van Beirendonck of the Antwerp Six. It was at this time that Van Beirendonck took Simons in as an intern for his eponymous label However, Simons did not work with clothes but rather constructed perfume bottles, runway sets, and other oddities for Walter.
In the summer of 1990, Van Beirndonck and Simons traveled to Paris for Paris Fashion Week. During his stay, Simons was exposed to the runway presentations of fellow Antwerp Six members, but it was the runway show of Martin Margiela that struck a chord with Simons. Upon his return, he began to design his own clothes, using his adolescence and subcultural identities as a guiding point for what would become one of the largest avant-garde labels in the world.
Over the course of 27 years, Raf Simons has constructed a universe centered around the revolutionary spark of adolescence, a spark that still lives with many of his followers today.
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