Belgian designer Raf Simons is joining Italian luxury brand Prada as its Co-Creative Director. The former designer for Jil Sander, Christian Dior, and most recently Calvin Klein, will have equal responsibilities with Miuccia Prada in creative decision-making for Prada’s men’s and women’s collections. His first designs with Miuccia for the spring/summer 2021 womenswear collection will be presented this September in Milan.
“Prada is a brand that I have been interested in my whole life. I cannot wait to express to all of you the dialogue I will have with Mrs Prada and her team,” as Simons said, according to Business of Fashion, at a secretive conference for select press held at the company’s headquarters to announce the news. “To be really honest, Mr Bertelli approached me right after my exit from Calvin Klein,” Simons continued. “Miuccia and I had a conversation about creativity in today’s fashion system. And it brought me to open dialogue with many designers, not just Mrs Prada. We have to re-look at how creativity can evolve in today’s fashion system.”
Simons is the first designer outside the Prada family to join the house since it was first established. In December 2018, Simons exited American brand Calvin Klein after two years held his role as its Chief Creative Officer and nine months before his contract ended.
Simons joining Prada is rather unconventional as it is the first time ever that the Italian luxury house decided to have a designer outside of the Prada family, but it’s not all unexpected. Simons relationship with Miuccia was already began when she and her husband who also the CEO of Prada Group Patrizio Betelli chosen Simons in 2005 to be the creative director of Jil Sander. In seven years of his tenure in Jil Sander, the brand was getting a commercial success and the Prada Group sold it to a London private equity firm in 2006.
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