In 1995, Raf Simons left the career he’d trained for — in industrial and furniture design — to become a menswear designer. With no formal instruction, the self-taught Simons gambled on an eponymous label that melded the rebellious energy of youth subcultures with the precision of classical tailoring. Simons’s particular blend of modern proportion, textural interplay, and innovative shapes was so successful that the Belgian designer’s menswear quickly rose to prominence as one of the most forward-looking lines in Europe. In 2005, Simons took over as head designer for Jil Sander, and a year later he launched the diffusion line Raf by Raf Simons. With the addition of his Fred Perry collaboration (begun in 2008), Simons manages to keep busy working on four lines at once. An impressive fashion career for an industrial design student.
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