Fashion

Always wanted one of Raf Simons‘ iconic hand-painted New Order parkas from his FW04 collection but were born too late? Or is your wardrobe pining for one of those Sterling Ruby pieces from FW14? Do. Not. Worry. Following last year’s announcement that Raf Simons is launching Redux – a line curated by the designer reissuing 100 key archive pieces from his eponymous brand – the collection is now available via Matches Fashion.

Showcased here via imagery captured by photographer Paul Gore and Matches Fashion creative director Simon Chilvers, the collection draws together some of Raf’s most iconic pieces to create full looks that emphasise the designer’s hard-wired aesthetic. Raf signatures a-plenty, there are DIY sewn-on patches, sleeveless oversized knits, and outerwear that cocoons its wearer. The collection also features key Raf collaborations including British graphic designer Peter Saville and US artist Sterling Ruby.

Alongside the launch, Matches Fashion has published an exclusive, rare interview with Simons in which he discusses key moments from his career – read some fascinating extracts below.

On launching his Redux archival line:

“We’d been thinking about it for quite a long time, then we thought it would be interesting to do it when the brand had existed for 25 years. I had a lot of reactions from young people who wanted pieces, and who weren’t even born when we were making certain pieces! I was thinking a lot about the access, that it’s a pity we cannot offer them anymore.

But at the same time, I was thinking is it wrong to the people who have been paying a lot of money for the archive pieces and they might be a bit upset. Then I thought at the end it’s only 100 pieces out of 25 years. But it was not so easy to decide. Was it emotional? Maybe in certain moments because it is very much connected to memories. But it was interesting, curious.”

“Then I saw the Martin show. It was very anti, very unglamorous to me, but at the same time it was very glamourous.”

On his father attending his Kinetic Youth (SS99) show:

“Not that he was against it but when I decided to do fashion he was like, “What is that? He wasn’t really getting it, but because of that I always thought he had zero interest and that he would never really see the shows. Then he came, and I saw him backstage afterwards ad he cried. He was an army man, so I had never seen him cry. That was when I realised how much it meant to them [his parents] and how proud he was.”

On the Martin Margiela 1989 show that changed his perspective:

“I’m a teenager from the 1980s, so I was aware of how high fashion looks but it didn’t really trigger my interest. Then I saw the Martin show. It was very anti, very unglamorous to me, but at the same time it was very glamourous. I can remember very well stepping out of that show, thinking this is what I want to do, and now I can see fashion as something that has another meaning for myself.”

“I had a lot of reactions from young people who wanted pieces, and who weren’t even born when we were making certain pieces! I was thinking a lot about the access, that it’s a pity we cannot offer them anymore.”

On music being a key and consistent inspiration:

“It was the only thing I was connected to when I was young. That, and maybe film. When I go into a new [fashion] house I am not able to look at a set or anything without music. It’s almost physically impossible for me. When I work on the clothes there has to be music. When we are in show prep and fittings, it is always me with the remote control in my hand. The models are standing there and as soon as I ask the model to walk so I can see the look in movement, I need to put music on.

Shop the Raf Simons Redux collection on Matchesfashion now.

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