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This is not a drill: Raf Simons is launching womenswear

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The designer just announced his new line on Instagram

It’s fair to say that, across the course of the early 00s, Raf Simons revolutionised menswear. Turning his back on the macho, muscled silhouette that dominated the 90s (we’re looking at you, Versace et al), the iconoclastic Belgian wunderkind began creating clothes for the awkward, skinny boys who didn’t see themselves reflected in the pages of glossy magazines. 

Tapping into the subcultural movements and underground music by way of inspiration, Simons, along with Hedi Slimane, is basically the reason skinny jeans and even skinnier tailoring took over fashion, spilling off Paris’s runways and swarming across the sticky, swimming-in-Smirnoff-Ice dancefloor of every regional indie disco in the UK (and far, far beyond).  

Now, close to 30 years after he first landed on the fashion stage, Simons is finally turning his hand to womenswear within his eponymous label. Taking to Instagram this afternoon, the designer posted a message reading: “Raf Simons will present his upcoming Spring/Summer 2021 men’s and first-ever women’s collection on October 23rd”, alongside two illustrated patches reading ‘Teenage Dream’ and ‘Join Us’. 

Of course, this isn’t the first time Simons will be whipping up womenswear. The designer picked up where Jil Sander left off back in 2010, before landing the top spot at Dior, where he took over as creative director in 2012 and dropped his first ever Haute Couture collection for the house. In 2016, having left Dior behind, he headed to Calvin Klein, where he took a deep dive into the dark side of Americana and pop culture (remember those Jason Voorhees-inspired shoes?). He left the label in late 2018. 

Interestingly, Simons has been vocal about the fast pace of fashion and the pressure it places on those at the top, including himself. In a candid interview with Cathy Horyn in System magazine published shortly after he left Dior, the designer lamented not having enough time to incubate ideas, and the brevity between creating one collection and the next. Given he’s joining Miuccia as co-creative director of Prada this season, continues creating under his own name, and is now adding womenswear into the mix, it would seem he’s had a change of heart.

Check out the post below and revisit Simons’ AW20 collection in the gallery above.