Fans of Raf Simons have expressed their sorrow at the news that he is closing his eponymous label after 27 years.
The Belgian designer wiped the label’s Instagram account and posted the shock announcement on the social media platform, which confirmed that the brand’s spring/summer 2023 collection would be the “conclusion of an extraordinary 27 year journey and the final season of the Raf Simons fashion brand.”
“I lack the words to share how proud I am of all that we have achieved,” he wrote. “Thank you all, for believing in our vision and for believing in me.”
Followers of the feted designer responded to the news on Instagram with heart emojis and messages of respect for the designer.
“Raf Simons was the reason I fell in love with fashion. It’s very sad,” wrote one, while another wrote: “My kid going to be so mad when I name em Raf Simons.”
Another said: “Thanks for the inspirations, the memories, the vision & iconicness. Thank you for everything!”
Celebrity fans of the fashion designer also expressed their sadness at the news, with Marc Jacobs commenting, “Always incredible. always inspiring. Thank you, Raf,” while ASAP Rocky posted a broken heart emoji and Gwendoline Christie three black heart emojis.
While Simons offered no explanation for the closure, some have speculated that the unstable financial market may be the reason behind the decision.
Others suspect that the 54-year-old wishes to focus entirely on his co-creative directorial role at Prada.
With fans including Rihanna, Emma Watson and Charlize Theron, Simons has a global reputation as one the most feted designers in contemporary fashion.
Launching his namesake label in 1995, Simons spotlighted youth culture, and took the radical step of casting people from the streets, rather than models, to walk in his shows.
Following international acclaim for his designs, he went on to hold roles at Jil Sander, Dior and Calvin Klein.
And in 2014, Simon’s work at Dior formed the subject of a documentary, Dior and I, which propelled the designer into the public eye.
As one of the original members of the “Antwerp Six”, a cohort of graduates from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, which includes Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Walter Van Beirendonck, the group were credited with the developing of a forward-thinking new aesthetic and putting Belgian fashion on the global map.