Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

Designer Raf Simons joins Prada

Simons will be co-creative director alongside Miuccia Prada, as well as designing his independent menswear line

Designers Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons at the Prada resort show on May 4, 2018. AFP / Getty Images North America 
Designers Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons at the Prada resort show on May 4, 2018. AFP / Getty Images North America 

Belgian designer Raf Simons is set to have as much say in the creative goings-on and decision-making at Italian label Prada as head designer Miuccia Prada. The announcement was made on Sunday, February 23, at Milan Fashion Week, potentially marking this season as Miuccia’s last solo show, as Simons prepares to join as co-creative director on April 2.

At a press conference at Prada’s headquarters, Simons said: “The fashion industry is moving more and more towards an industry that might end up excluding creatives. I see more and more the possibility of having a strong business without strong creation. That is something we do not agree with, Miuccia and myself, and I know for a fact many designers do not agree with it. We think we should not forget in this business about creativity.”

According to a statement released by the company: "The distinct values and ethos of the Prada brand remain unchanged: this radical creative dialogue, indeed, is a reiteration of the philosophies of both Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons. It is perfectly in tune with each designer’s individual history of reinvention, provocation, brave exploration and the power of ideas - now, brought together."

Simons, who will continue to design for his eponymous menswear line, was at Calvin Klein for about two years; he was credited with revitalising the American brand with his hip European sensibility before quitting at the end of 2018.

He also worked at Dior and Jil Sanders, and notably was hired for the latter by Miuccia and Prada chief executive Patrizio Bertelli.

The move to Prada is being lauded as a bold, unconventional and exciting step for both the brand and its now two designers. Arguably, Prada has not performed as well as its luxury fashion peers when it comes to attracting younger high-income consumers and Simons is being brought in to tap into that coveted slice of the market. The designer will create both menswear and womenswear lines in his new role, with Prada's first joint show scheduled for September in Milan for the spring/summer 2021 season.

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Updated: February 23, 2020 06:47 PM

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