Raf Simons closes his namesake label after 27 years.
Announcing the news on Monday via a short statement on Instagram, the Belgium-born fashion designer revealed that the brand’s spring/summer 2023 collection shown in October in London will be its last.
“Words fail me to share how proud I am of all we have accomplished,” he wrote. “Thank you all for believing in our vision and for believing in me.”
While the reasoning behind the brand’s closure is unclear, experts speculated that it may be due to the turbulent financial market facing the fashion industry.
In November 2019, American designer Zac Posen closed his label after 20 years in business, while in June 2020 New York-based label Sies Marjan announced it was closing due to the financial impact of Covid 19.
There is also speculation that Simons wants to fully focus on his role as co-creative director at Prada alongside the company’s majority shareholder, Miuccia Prada. Prada said at the time of his appointment in February 2020 that Simons would have “the same responsibilities in terms of creative input and decision-making.”
Prada, 73, denied at the time that the decision was made in preparation for his eventual retirement.
The duo’s first co-designed collection launched digitally for Spring/Summer 2021 during Milan Fashion Week.
Simons is hailed as one of the most celebrated designers in modern fashion, influencing both men’s and women’s fashion around the world. Famous admirers of his include singer Rihanna and actors Emma Watson and Charlize Theron.
She did an internship in the design studio of Walter Van Beirendonck, who was a member of the original “Antwerp Six”, graduates of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, who in 1986 brought their collections to London for the British Designer Show, a forerunner of London Fashion Week.
The cohort, which also includes Dries van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester, is credited with putting Belgian fashion on the international fashion map while showcasing a progressive new aesthetic.
Simons launched his eponymous label in 1995. Celebrating youth culture and focusing on minimalist silhouettes like slim-fit tailoring, he set a new precedent in menswear.
His idea of choosing real people from the streets to walk in his shows was sensational at the time.
He later held positions at Jil Sander, Dior and Calvin Klein before assuming his current role at Prada.
For his final show, Simons invited over 1,000 guests, including fashion students, to the Printworks nightclub in south-east London.
This article was modified on November 22, 2022. Raf Simons was not a member of the “Antwerp Six”, as an earlier version claimed.