After months of rumors Belgian designer Raf Simons officially joins Calvin Klein this Tuesday, August 2. Calvin Klein is undergoing a big transformation and will receive a troop of new designers to replace the old team, which was abruptly dismissed just a few days before the arrival of Raf Simons.
The news was expected for months, confirming the words of Calvin Klein last April who said he wanted to revamp the brand’s artistic direction through a unique and comprehensive approach to CK Collections. In June he asked for patience as “the designer is still under contract with another brand,” in this case Dior where Maria Grazia Chiuri just assumed the reigns in early July.
Effective August 2, Raf Simons will start work in his new offices in New York and will first focus on developing the CK Jeans line, as well as a new brand image and a reorganization of the brand’s fashion shows.
The 47-year-old Belgian designer is now turning a new page in his storied career. After studying architecture and completing a degree in industrial design in Genk, Belgium he was a latecomer to fashion design, inspired by a Maison Martin Margiela runway show he witnessed.
Adopting a minimalist style, the designer launched his own brand in 1995 before encountering financial difficulties. The experience led him to take a sabbatical in 2000, after which he came back to lead his brand, also teaching at the University of Applied Arts Vienna from 2000 to 2005 and launching his Raf by Raf Simons line during that time.
2005 marked a turning point in his career. He was named creative director at Jil Sander, in charge of both the men’s and women’s collections. He stayed at the label until 2012, before being hired to replace John Galliano as head of Haute Couture collections, Ready-to-wear and accessories for Dior.
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