Raf Simons’ Chinatown Runway Show

RUNWAY LIKE NO OTHER. Only a fashion powerhouse like Raf Simons can gather A-listers, forcing them to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a Chinatown market alley to catch his show


Fresh from his CFDA award wins, the highly praised designer and current Calvin Klein creative director took to the back alleys of a Chinatown market to showcase his latest design concepts during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. Unlike other fashion shows held during this men’s fashion centered week, which often get held in large re-purposed industrial spaces, ball rooms or outlandish locations that rarely engage in the real metropolitan that is New York city, Raf Simons’ show forced it’s onlookers to cram into a Chinatown market alley way to see his latest collection. Under the tracks of subway trains chugging overhead and authentic neon lights of the district, accompanied by the lingering smell of rotted fish that filled the air, A-list guests stood in the open with no air conditioning to shelter them from the evenings humidity awaiting Simons’ presentation.


For the theme of the event, Simons sought inspiration from classic sci-fi film “Blade Runner”, where the clashing of East-meets-West is depicted in a dystopian future filled with androids and flying cars. To add to the nuance of the theme, the word “Replicant” was featured on paper lanterns and neon lights, which were the films robotic adversaries.


The show started with a model draped in a slouchy black rubber trenchcoat paired with matching rain boots, gardening hat and see-through umbrella that had a glow-in-the-dark shaft. The looks that followed pretty much kept in tune with the first look as models strutted the runway under the canopy of an umbrella, all sporting wide-brimmed hats wrapped in a plaid or floral printed scarf. The clothing presented were both new and vintage designs by Simons, such as long trenchcoats and baggy overcoats. Trousers were sometimes wide and shroud-like hanging on to the samurai-esque appeal of the look, while the footwear were all gumboots with some fastened by rope to resemble that of worn by Japanese fishermen. The clash of East-meets-West was clear throughout the collection.

As mentioned before, only a designing powerhouse such as Raf Simons would have the audacity and balls to pull off such a runway show as he did. His presentation at this year’s New York Fashion Week: Men’s single handedly stole the entire show.