Great news for the folks that treat fashion news like reality TV: Raf Simons announced on Sunday, February 23rd after the Prada collection showed, his new position as Co-Creative Director at Miuccia Prada, beginning April 2nd.
Simons and Prada are long-time friends who frequent each other’s shows and hold great respect for one another. They will now work as one, holding equal roles in the luxury label’s designs and concepts—the first time this has been attempted in fashion Their first show as a duo will be the S/S 2021 womenswear line in Milan. Prada claims to have brought him in after complaints for not doing enough collaborations, so proposing to bring Raf Simons as her partner will make each and every one of the brand’s collections a collaboration.
“We feel the need to join as creative people in a dialogue, to bring emotion and bring co-creation,” Simons noted during the press conference.
Prada added for WWD, “I was sometimes criticized for not doing collaborations, so now I am doing one.” Adding Simons to the brand could soar the label to new heights of innovation, or leave it looking directionless and juxtaposing with their very different design styles. Simons is also known to leave luxury household name brands quickly- having only spent three years with Dior and two with Calvin Klein, rendering him somewhat of a commitment flight risk even though both claim this is a permanent collaboration.
After Simons’ abrupt leave from Calvin Klein in December 2018, rumors circled about deliberations of a partnership with Prada for over a year, Reality Steve could’ve told us that this marriage was coming.
The industry has become increasingly more business focused, and the union hopes to see a new level of artistic approach. The duo also hopes to make fusing art and culture a main priority of the brand. Simons’ affinity for pop culture has been displayed throughout all of his work. After the Belgium- born designer divorced from creative directing Calvin Klein, it has now spearheaded an anti-luxury movement, sticking to what sells rather than the inventiveness and beauty of designer based fashion.
“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. We think we should not forget in this business about creativity,” said Simons.
Prada has been known for its sporty and ugly-turned-cool aesthetic which will hopefully blend seamlessly with Simons’s normcore, menswear-geared designs. Chief Executive of the Prada Group, Patrizio Bertelli said of the pair sharing “not just a professional relationship, but a human relationship. We share a similar identity.”
The idea of having two very different creatives collaborating to work as one is unorthodox yet innovative, and could bring in a new method of managing fashion houses. Compromising is just not good enough when it comes to luxury, so finding a cohesive direction for future collections will be imperative for long-lasting success. Needless to say, the world is excited to see the wedding of these two designer powerhouses as we enter a new decade of fashion. And like any good reality show, we have no clue whether this will end in disaster, or completely redefine the industry. Will this be yet another big name for Simons to fly away from, or has this bird finally found his nest?