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Raf Simons

La Parisienne

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Raf Simons, born in Belgium in 1968, is a fashion designer.

  • Simons graduated in Industrial Design and Furniture Design in 1991 and went on to start working as a furniture designer for various galleries, having previously interned at the design studio of Walter Van Beirendonck.
  • Encouraged by Linda Loppa, head of the fashion department at the Antwerp Royal Academy, Simons - self-trained - became a menswear designer and launched his Raf Simons label.
  • He designed the menswear outfits for Ruffo Research for spring/summer 1999 and autumn/winter 1999-2000.
  • In March 2000, Simons shut down his company to take a sabbatical. Following a new deal with Belgian manufacturer, Gysemans Clothing Industry, the company was started back up again in 2001.
  • Simons was appointed head professor of the fashion department of the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria in October 2000 - a position he held until June 2005.
  • He won the Swiss Textiles Award in November 2003.
  • In June 2005, the new Raf by Raf Simons line launched.
  • To coincide with the label's 10th anniversary, Raf Simons Redux, a book by Peter De Potter and Simons, was published.
  • Simons was named creative director of Jil Sander - menswear and womenswear - in July 2005.
  • He developed a seasonal special edition collection for Fred Perry in 2008 - a collaboration which is ongoing.
  • Simons is inspired by the world around him, fuelled by his love for both rebellious youth cultures and traditional menswear. His look is all about modern proportions, pure construction and new shapes.
  • He lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.
  • On December 13 2011, Simons was said to be finalising contracts which would see him replace John Galliano as creative director of Dior following Galliano's dismissal earlier in the year.
  • On February 23 2012, it was announced that Simons would leave Jil Sander following the presentation of the label's autumn/winter 2012-13 women's collection. Shortly after, it was revealed that Simons would be replaced by the label's founder Jil Sander, who would return to the label having previously left in 2004.
  • On April 9 2012, it was confirmed that Simons had taken over as the new creative director of Dior and would show his first collection during the Couture collections in July.


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