Just when you thought the biggest Raf Simons news of 2020 would be his new gig at Prada, the designer comes up with a perfect summertime surprise. Simons, whose pieces are some of the most sought after on the secondary menswear market, is reissuing 100 pieces from his archive to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his eponymous brand. Called Raf Simons Archive Redux—a nod to his encyclopedic 2005 tome Raf Simons Redux—the collection is being revealed this month, though it will not go on sale until December 2020. Call it the ultimate in see-now, buy-later.
Physical? Digital? Virtual? The Masterminds of Fashion Show Production Weigh In on Runway’s Future
Digital fashion weeks are scheduled for this summer, but what kinds of content will we find on this new platforms? Fashion show producers Gayle Dizon, Alexandre de Betak, Etienne Russo, and Thierry Dreyfus weigh in.Faced with the necessity of translating fashion to a digital format, the British Fashion Council, Italy’s Camera Nazionale Della Moda, and France’s Fédération de la Haute Couture and de la Mode spent the early weeks of COVID-19 lockdowns mapping out how to marry the pomp and circumstance of a fashion show with the high-speed chill of the internet. The answer? Well, there isn’t one, really.
The lineup will include items from his first collection for Fall 1995, presented (quite aptly for our current moment) in video form; the Kraftwerk-referencing red shirts and slim ties of Fall 1998’s “Radioactivity” show; and the KOLLAPS hoodies from spring 2002’s “Woe Onto Those Who Spit on the Fear Generation… The Wind Will Blow It Back.” The other 97 garments that will be sold as a part of the archival drop are still to be confirmed, though fans will surely have requests. Aside from Simons’s LUCA School of Arts graduate collection of furniture pieces, of which one piece is currently listed for just under $100,000, the most expensive items by the designer on Grailed are a spring 2003 leather bomber (going for $65,608), a painted raincoat from fall 2014’s Sterling Ruby collaboration ($50,000), and several of the “Riot Riot Riot!” bombers from fall 2001 (all hovering around $50,000). If that sounds like a lot—it’s not. In October 2018, a single jacket from the Riot Riot Riot collection fetched $47,000; three of the Peter Saville anoraks from fall 2003’s “Closer” collection were priced at $20,000 in 2016.
André Leon Talley on the Influential Black Fashion Designers You Should Know
The legendary fashion journalist and curator Elizabeth Way talk with BAZAAR.com about decades of overlooked American fashion history.The exhibition was accompanied by a mobile tour with multimedia content for smartphones including archival video footage and designer interviews, which the museum has now made available online. The tour is narrated by legendary fashion journalist André Leon Talley, who recently published The Chiffon Trenches, a memoir charting half a century spent writing and styling for Women’s Wear Daily, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview, and more.
© Photo: Courtesy of Raf Simons Raf Simons's KOLLAPS hoodie from the spring 2002 collection
Resale prices don’t paint the whole story of Simons’s fandom, of course, but the fervor around his vintage clothes has helped turn the vintage menswear market into a micro economy of its own. How will the prices of Simons’s own re-issues fare compared to the market value of the vintage originals? And what about the resale prices of the re-editions? Last week 5 million people signed up to try to buy Dior Men’s new Air Jordan sneakers—imagine the interest a Raf Simons sale could generate.
It’s hard to tell if that fury will register to the man himself, though. More removed than ever from the churn of the fashion system—and more secure than ever with a co-creative directorship at Prada alongside his own favorite designer Miuccia Prada—Simons doesn’t really have to participate in the industry for public relations, financial, or fame-based purposes anymore. A press release for Raf Simons Archive Redux notes, “Both a creative and commercial gesture, Archive Redux offers the new generation of Raf Simons followers a chance to experience these garments for the first time. A nostalgia for the unknown.”
Pockets Are Absolutely Enormous Now
First, sneakers grew to enormous proportions. Then sunglasses shrank. Next up: the gigantic pocket.And not just you. Big Pocket has high-profile celebrity loyalists in the likes of Kanye West and Justin Bieber. If you think of the steady stream of paparazzi photos of West leaving his Calabasas office, a few motifs come to mind. His uniform usually consists of heavily pocketed cargo pants or a chore coat with some sort of sizable chest pocket. Just this week, Bieber posted a casual photo on his Instagram of himself wearing a button-up shirt with two prominent pockets…and cargo pants with, yes, two mega pockets.
Thanks to the internet and its brilliant collectors, Simons’s oeuvre is very known—and manically pored over. He’s going to give a little bit more to his superfans. As he wrote in Raf Simons Redux: “Raf Simons, as the world knows the label, is not me. Or better: not solely about me. It has always been, and will always continue to be, about us, about we, about you.”
© Photo: Courtesy of Raf Simons A monogram turtleneck from Raf Simons's first collection for fall 1995 © Photo: Courtesy of Raf Simons An homage to Kraftwerk from fall 1998