Raf Simons: 'Why can't menswear be more risque?'
Raf Simons finds it a pity that men's fashion isn't as daring as women's.
The Belgian designer will show his eponymous spring/summer 17 collection at Pitti Uomo on Thursday (16Jun16), as part of the Florence Calling: Raf Simons event staged in his honour. Raf is no stranger to bold womenswear, having held the post of creative director at Dior from April 2012 until his resignation in October last year (15), and he puts the same effort into his own pieces for males. But he doesn't think the same can be said for the rest of men's fashion.
"I think that men’s fashion has not been daring at all for a long time," he sighed to WWD. "I find it a pity because I would almost say that men deserve to be treated like women. There’s so much variety and so many options in women’s brands. I don’t think that’s happening in men’s wear at all. Sometimes you can see something very exciting on the stage, but it doesn’t get to the stores very often."
Raf's latest presentation isn't his first at the annual bash, as he held an exhibition back in 2003, followed by celebrating the 10th anniversary of his own menswear label in 2005 and staging a Jil Sander show in 2010 during his stint as creative director of the brand. He's happy to be back this year (16) and admits he feels more of an "emotional connection" to Pitti Uomo than he does with Paris Fashion Week shows.
And now he can focus on his own empire, Raf insists nothing is holding him back as he expands into new territories.
"The beautiful part of the Raf Simons brand is that it literally says or does what it wants to do," he gushed. "It’s very, very freeing. It’s never really been a big brand in terms of product, but it has always marked its independence. Right now it’s actually strong and growing. In menswear, there is not yet an over-offering of brands and products that are really different. So, for me, men’s is still very interesting and very, very much something to focus on."
Raf also hasn't ruled out launching his own womenswear line some day, as it's an area he thoroughly enjoys working on, but for now he will be concentrating on his menswear offerings.