Raf Simons will officially be joining Prada as co-creative director starting April 2nd 2020. Prada has taken to their social media to announce the exciting news! Working alongside Miuccia Prada, Simons will share equal responsibility for creative input and decision-making. The duo’s first collaborative collection will be for the Spring/Summer 2021 womenswear show, to be debuted in Milan in September 2020.
During their secret press conference during Milan Fashion Week, Prada told reporters “I’m extremely happy to start this new phase, it’s certainly going to be extremely exciting… We like each other, we respect each other, and we’ll see if we go somewhere.” Simons went onto explaining how he was first approached by Prada Group’s chairman and CEO, Patrizio Bertelli, “Miuccia and I had a conversation about creativity in today’s fashion system. And it brought me to open dialogue with many designers, not just Mrs. Prada. We have to re-look at how creativity can evolve in today’s fashion system.. At this moment, lots of creatives feel troubled, feel the fashion industry is [becoming] an industry where it might move to excluding creatives… We do believe that collaborating could reposition that aspect of the business.”
The Belgian designer, 52, has previously worked with Christian Dior, Jil Sander and Calvin Klein. Simons also confirmed that he will continue working on his own namesake men’s label. “I’m very pleased to announce our partnership on Prada, a brand I’ve been interested in my whole life… I’m not closing my own business, I always look for new challenges in my life… Mr. Bertelli approached me right after my exit from Calvin Klein,” shared Simons, who reportedly exited the CK business nine months prior to the contracts ending. “Mr. Bertelli emailed me. Then he called and he asked me to come to Milan. It was a very open dialogue about Prada’s future in general. Then out of that came this thinking, Why not do it together?” Simons told The Cut in a telephone interview upon news of the collaboration’s announcement.
Prada added “We think it’s probably the first time that two designers, two mature designers, decided to work together. I think it’s a very nice gesture for promoting creativity and culture.” Simons went onto emphasise that “We feel strengthened by the idea of collaborating.”
Ms Prada, 70, assured fans that the appointment of Simons is no prelude to her seemingly imminent retirement, “Oh, no,” she insisted, “to do better, to work harder — I’m very interested in this. I like working, I’m here to work even more.” She also maintained that her and Mr Simons’ contract was “forever”. Prada’s statement read “The partnership, encompassing all creative facets of the Prada label, is born from a deep reciprocal respect and from an open conversation – it is a mutual decision, proposed and determined by both parties. Conceptually, it is also a new approach to the very definition of creative direction for a fashion brand – a strong challenge to the idea of singularity of creative authorship whilst also a bold reinforcement of the importance and power of creativity in a shifting cultural landscape. As times change, so should creativity.”
We are looking forward to the reinvigorated partnership and can’t wait to see what innovative concepts and designs will come out of this collaboration of powerhouses. “The synergy of this partnership is far-reaching. It is a reaction to the era in which we live – an epoch with fresh possibilities, permitting a different point of view and approach to established methodologies.” — Prada.