In the past 25 years, the Belgian designer Raf Simons has become a globally-recognized name in the fashion industry whose work is worthy of a grail status. With items such as his Fall/Winter 2001 “Riot! Riot! Riot!” bomber jacket fetching $47,000 USD on the secondary market, and collectors such as Aro Archive possessing some of the rarest Raf around, it’s needless to say the designer knows how to make clothes that carry their own legacy. Now, Simons has announced the return of some of the best bits from the past 25 years in Raf Simons Archive Redux.
Launching with various stockists, including MatchesFashion.com, Raf Simons Archive Redux looks back into the designer’s history book and aims to highlight core moments from the brand’s legacy, as curated by the designer himself. Positioned as a retrospective, Archive Redux gives a new generation a chance to get their hands on reissued pieces from the Raf catalog, such as a hand-painted parka from FW04, the classic black blazer from SS99, jumbo sweaters of FW16, and pieces from the FW14 Sterling Ruby collaboration. Speaking on the collection, Simons said:
“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.”
In addition to the pieces noted above, Raf Simons Archive Redux also offers grails such as the FW01 “Antwerp Belgium” hoodie, and items that go back even further such as the SS97 “Generation” tank top. A selection of the pieces can be seen in men’s and women’s styles above, alongside images from a Paul Gore-shot and Simon Chilvers-styled photoshoot above, while the full collection can be found on MatchesFashion.com now.
In case you missed it, check out Raf Simons’ first menswear show for Prada.