This year, we are celebrating all things Belgian at OC. We cannot wait to share all the amazing designers, established and new, and rich culture that the country has to offer. A personal highlight, for me, is that this year we are welcoming Raf Simons into the OC family. From the very beginning of his eponymous menswear label, in 1995, through to his tenure at Jil Sander (from 2005-2012) and his latest role as creative director at Dior, Raf has become a fashion icon and proponent of outsider culture. His love for youth culture and his rebellious streak resonated with me all the way across the Atlantic in California in the 90s, and his vision is just as radical almost 20 years later.
Over a long lunch at L’Avenue in Paris last month, Raf and I talked about his teenage years, the ground-breaking designers who emerged from the Royal Academy in Antwerp during the 80s (the Antwerp Six), and our shared love for Pulp and The Breeders. As fellow culture and fashion fanatics, we could have talked forever. Look out for more in the second part of our interview, coming next week.
Raf Simons is available at Opening Ceremony stores in New York, Los Angeles, and London, and is coming soon to online.