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Raf Simons becomes co-creative designer at Prada

Photo courtesy of Prada.

Photo courtesy of Prada.

Photo courtesy of Prada.

Photo courtesy of Prada.

Images by Prada and Sean Zanni
Words by Ella Bazanni-Hockley

 

Miuccia Prada will share creative control after 42 years at the designing helm.

The fashion world is reeling from the announcement that Italian fashion matriarch, Miuccia Prada, has agreed to share her creative responsibility with one of menswear’s most recognisable names, Raf Simons. 

After an impressive career spent designing for Calvin Klein, Christian Dior and Jil Sander, fashion industry favourite Raf Simons will now take on “equal responsibilities for creative input and decision-making”, effective from April, the pair said in a press release on Sunday. 

Prada is 70, and in her forty-second year of designing for the brand, but insists the decision does not hint at imminent retirement, instead she believes the appointment is an opportunity to refresh the label.

Under Miuccia Prada, the label offered an eccentric and idiosyncratic take on feminine, colourful, and retro styles. But Simons’ minimalist take on menswear, and his emphasis on unisex, contemporary fashion while at both Calvin Klein and Jil Sander could potentially be at odds with the Italian fashion house’s much-loved aesthetic.

Simons worked for Prada’s husband and business partner, Patrizio Bertelli, as the creative director of Jil Sander, from 2005 to 2012. At the time, Jil Sander was a considerable step-up for the relatively unknown, Antwerp-based menswear designer.

“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, we’ll see if we go somewhere,” Miuccia Prada said at a press conference on the final day of Milan Fashion Week. 

The results of the first Simons/Prada collection will debut at the Prada spring 2021 women’s show in Milan next year. 

prada.com

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