Belgian designer Raf Simons began his career in furniture and industrial design, moving into menswear design in 1995 with no formal education on the subject. This outsider approach to fashion has only to served to help form his innovative aesthetic of modern proportions and new shapes. Changing the perception of masculinity by fusing youth culture with traditional menswear, Simons creates cutting-edge designs with flawless tailoring and a unique point of view.
For Raf Simons Spring/Sumer 2017 collection one of the most noticeable features of this collection is the visual references to photographer Robert Mapplethorpe’s images. Born in 1946, Mapplethorpe is perhaps best remembered as a pioneer that combined elements of photography, art and sexuality. In doing so, Mapplethorpe brought to light many challenging issues and concepts regarding gender norms and eroticism, as is best represented in his explicit photographs of both male and female forms. Simons, in turn, has taken some of these images and gracefully distilled them through his Spring/Summer pieces. For our own buy, we decided to focus largely on pieces featuring still life and portraits, as we value the intersection of form and functionality for our customers. Of note is the oversized vest featuring a self portrait of Mapplethorpe and a burlap style tote bag with a large tulip print. Additionally, Simons has included a range of products that feature the names of carnivorous scavengers as part what could be considered his “Venomous Friday” motif. Featured is an oversized hoodie featuring a “vultures” text and an exposed seam shirt with a “hyena” print.
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