A new feature at The Telegraph goes in-depth with design legend Raf Simons. Each chapter of Raf’s career in fashion has been marked by evolution. While his namesake menswear has been one constant through over 20 years of designing, he has worked stints as the creative director of Jil Sander and most recently as the head of Dior.
In the article Raf hints that the relentless pace of luxury fashion left him somewhat creatively burnt out. His product design work for Danish textile design specialist Kvadrat really highlighted how insane the deadlines in high fashion really are at this point.
“Having the timeline of a year is like heaven for me because at Christian Dior I used to do eight collections a year and each collection could contain up to 150 fabrics,” he says. “I’ve done three fabrics this year for Kvadrat and I really, really pay attention to it. It’s beautiful to be able to give a project substantial incubation time. When I did fabrics at Dior I had to choose them within a couple of hours sometimes – seeing everything, deciding, making colour palettes… then hoopla – launch.”
Raf also touches on his frustration with how the focus on major fashion houses has shifted to the marketing of clothing through social media and away from ensuring the creativity behind the designs themselves.
“Everyone is paying attention to the wrong thing in my opinion. There’s this huge debate about ‘Oh my God, should we sell the garments the day after the show or three days after the show or should we tweet it in this way or Instagram it in that way?’… You know, all that kind of bullshit. Will all that stuff still be relevant 30 years from now? I don’t think so. What we should ask is will we have enough creative people who are strong enough and willing to do what is necessary right now to follow that madhouse. Lots of people are starting to question it. My generation especially is shifting now… like me and Phoebe [Philo], Nicolas [Ghesquière] and Marc [Jacobs]. We’ve been around for 20 or more years. We know what fashion was and where it’s heading to. Now it’s a question of what we are willing to do and how we are going to do it.”
Rumors have spread that Raf may take the lead at Calvin Klein next but it remains to be seen who he will end up designing for next. Read the entire piece over at The Telegraph.