Calvin Klein’s new creative director, Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons, recently sat down for a fairly epic (or just epically long) interview in System Magazine alongside fellow creative titan Miuccia Prada (yes, that Prada). The interview is lengthy but fruitful in that both designers speak freely about their creative process, private power dinners with Marc Jacobs, and, most revealing, the anxiety of being a huge name designer in 2016. While the paychecks can be big, both designers believe the risk is bigger than ever. As fashion has grown into a mass market endeavor, even for those selling luxury goods, saying the wrong thing in an interview can cost a person their career—and neither subject is comfortable with the idea of censorship in the name of commerce.
But the one honest bit from the piece that caught our attention came when Simons, who has his own namesake brand in addition to his gig as creative director of the iconic American label, admits his allegiance to wearing Prada’s designs. “The reason I wear Prada is not just because I like the clothes; it’s also because Miuccia has a mindset that I can relate to,” he says. “Even if a brand has a beautiful coat, if the person who designed it is not the kind of person I can relate to in terms of vision or opinion or culture, then I just don’t want to wear it.” (And for the record, Raf knows a thing or two about dope Prada coats.)
The point Simons makes, and which we’re fully on board with, is this: There are lots of clothes out there that look good, but as a customer, you should buy things that stand for a message, a vision, and a style you believe in. Otherwise, you’re not expressing style as much as you are curating things based on nothing more than appearance. (That said, we kind of think it’s okay to like a coat just as a coat).
If there’s another big takeaway from this monumental piece it’s that we can’t wait for Simons to get cracking at Calvin Klein (his first collection will debut in January 2017). If there’s bound to be some menswear worth getting behind, his will be it.