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 Dior?
With the Dior/Marc Jacobs deal seemingly dead in the water, we've been waiting to hear who the next designer on the list would be. Well, it seems that Dior has been heavily courting Raf Simons, the creative of director of Jil Sander. This isn't the first time a big name French house has tried to snag the critically-acclaimed Belgian designer: Remember the pretty convincing rumors about Simons decamping to Yves Saint Laurent to replace the beleaguered Stefano Pilati? That ended up going nowhere, with Simons' four year Jil Sander contract being cited as a reason that he couldn't possibly be moving to YSL. While obviously nothing is certain, WWD is reporting that Dior and Simons are "close" to a deal.
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.
UPDATE: Raf Simons Is Not Going to Yves Saint Laurent
In the wake of Raf Simons' gorgeous spring collection for Jil Sander and subsequent review by Suzy Menkes, a veritable media frenzy erupted over the weekend thanks to a statement by the respected fashion journalist that “if Raf Simons ultimately takes over the helm at Yves Saint Laurent—as those familiar with the situation in Paris suggest--the designer will have found a sweet spot for his meticulous modernism.” Well, turns out that his sweet spot is still at the helm of Jil Sander, and Stefano Pilati is still secure in his position as creative designer at Yves Saint Laurent. Per a release we just received this morning from Yves Saint Laurent: Yves Saint Laurent disclaims and regards as unfounded the current rumors concerning the creative direction of the house. Stefano Pilati continues to dedicate his talent and energies to Yves Saint Laurent and the coming fashion show. Jil Sander is also refuting the rumors. According to Elle UK, Raf Simons has apparently just signed a contract for another four seasons as Jil Sander's creative director. This is one of those rumors that originated on Twitter--which sometimes can be better than any "official" news source--but which also sometimes proves to be a liability.