Raf Simons

Raf Simons to Calvin Klein

This morning it was confirmed by industry leader Business of Fashion that Raf Simons is the new Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein. The multi-brand conglomerate was excited to finally share the news of Simons joining the Calvin Klein family amid months of industry speculation. Simons' go-to-guy Pieter Mulier has been appointed Creative Director reporting directly to Simons. Simons will be taking full creative control over all company brands including CK Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein. From clothing to fragrance campaign and home decor Simons trademark minimalist design aesthetic is a natural fit for storied New York based Klein. During his tenure as Creative Director at Dior Simons brought a fresh and interesting take on modern couture but never seemed completely at ease. Calvin Klein with its history in starck American sportswear seems like a natural fit for Simons. This means that come fashion week Calvin Klein will be one of the most coveted tickets in town.

Jim Duran.

Photo courtesy of Essential Homme Magazine

Photo courtesy of Essential Homme Magazine

Raf Simons / Robert Mapplethorpe

I try to write my blog posts objectively as possible but this collection, this artistic collaboration between cultural icons, blew my mind. Raf Simon’s collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation is one of the most stimulating collections I have seen in a long time. Obviously I am a great admirer of both artists, but this collaboration was more then Simons simply plastering Mapplethorpe’s controversial imagery on a t-shirt and banking on the raw sexual appeal of the garment. Raf paid proper homage to the artists hyper sexual, slightly minimalist inspired aesthetic.

Models donned leather pants and overall inspired aprons with leash-like chokers hanging from their necks. The curly haired muses wore seductively tilted leather biker caps, each capturing the full essence of the legendary photographer. Oversized sweaters and shirts with carefully placed panels projecting classic Mapplethorpe images and slender slacks ran through most of the collection. Black socks paired with slide sandals lent a contemporary urban appeal and sleeveless cropped varsity sweaters playfully emphasized the collections preppy-deviant allure. Although there wasn’t a vast difference between looks each was so highly concentrated and carefully styled that I loved all of them. I know my words did not do the collection any justice but I was so overcome with excitement that it was literally hard for me to concentrate!

Jim Duran



Images by Umberto Fratini courtesy of Vogue