In the humble tradition of K by Karl Lagerfeld and Marc by Marc Jacobs, Raf Simons (of Jil Sander fame) has introduced a secondary line named... RAF by Raf Simons. In an interview with Dazed and Confused, Simons explains his desire to create a second line. The urge stems from Raf's feeling of disconnection, both from the youth culture that's inspired him (like Hedi Slimane), and from an industry that requires his designs meet other people's expectations. But despite the fact that RAF is technically a diffusion line, Simons is quick to point out that lower prices don't indicate lower standards: "I don't want to be ruined, like other people have been, by their second lines. You can get to a point where the whole image is lost, and it becomes so tacky that it damages the whole brand." Judging from his F/W 07 collection, Simons shouldn't be concerned. His RAF pants could be the Hedi Slimane suits of the future - chic girls everywhere might be vying to get into a pair of his graphic jeans. --ALLIE MERRIAM
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The Latest in the Jil Sander Saga: Was Raf Simons Fired?
In today's WWD, Bridget Foley has a thoughtful piece about the mismanagement of Raf Simons' ousting from Jil Sander. In it, she says that Simons was "unceremoniously dumped" from Jil Sander, making a point to clarify that he didn't just "leave" of his own volition. When news broke abruptly this past week that this would be Simons' last collection for Jil Sander (and a spectacular one at that), and that Jil Sander would be returning to her namesake label, it was assumed that Simons was leaving to fill that vacant spot at Dior, or, as Anna Dello Russo told us, that he might be focusing on his own label, because that's what he wanted to do--not because he was fired. But maybe he was.
Raf Simons To Leave Jil Sander; Could This Mean He's In at Dior?
As usual, right in the middle of fashion month, a media frenzy has begun over some big internal shakeups at major fashion houses. Jil Sander may be returning to the label she founded in 1968 in as little as four weeks, Gala, a major German magazine is reporting. This means fall 2012 may be the the last collection by current creative director Raf Simons, who was rumored to be the most recent candidate for the Dior job. And as we wrote this, Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, whose word is pretty much the end all be all, Tweeted the following: "Jil Sander company has just confirmed that Raf Simons is leaving" and "Raf Simons to leave Jil Sander. Show on Saturday to be his last." Omg. This wouldn't be the first time the 68-year-old German designer left and then returned to her namesake label.
Raf Simons Probably Not Going To Dior; Jil Sander Confirms Founder's Return
Following yesterday's confirmation that Jil Sander and Raf Simons would be parting ways, the company has just confirmed to WWD, officially, that Jil Sander will return to the label she founded 44 years ago. "I am very happy and excited to be back," she told the paper. "It feels like coming home after a brief journey." According to a separate WWD report, retailers are happy about the news, suggesting that the label might have more commercial success with Sander at the helm, even if Raf Simons' collections were always beloved by critics. While we're bummed to see him go (and especially curious to see what he sends down the runway tomorrow), we thought he'd make an interesting successor to Galliano at Dior--he was reportedly in negotiations to take the reins at the French house just a couple of months ago. However, it's looking more and more like that's not happening.