Hang out on wintery park benches with Raf's beautiful, balaclava wearing boys.
Having announced in October that he was leaving Dior to, "focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand", today Raf Simons released the first campaign for his eponymous label since his exit in December. Shot by long-time collaborator Willy Vanderperre and styled by close friend Olivier Rizzo, the spring/summer 16 campaign transports us to a woodland dystopia -- an embrace mid-winter on a frosty park bench.
The show in Paris last June saw half of Simons' models walk the runway with their faces masked by check scarves and Friar Tuck-esque medieval hoods, to the sound of Mark Leckey's Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, wearing a collection that the designer described as "very gang" post-show. Gang, in every sense. The masked faces, an emblem of youth gang culture; the medieval hood perhaps suggestive of the brotherhood of a monastery. Conjuring memories of Simons' autumn/winter 02 "Virginia Creeper" collection that saw men in hoods and balaclavas advance through a forest that wouldn't have looked out of place in an American horror film, spring/summer 16 was a bridge between old and new.
The campaign itself, that alters between colour and black and white, sees Simons' protagonist -- Belgian model Luca Lemaire -- embracing an unidentifiable masked figure amidst the bleak woodland and on a wintery park bench, whilst spring/summer 16's rivet-punched outerwear, granddad-style knitted tank tops, wide leg trousers and checked lab-coats take centre stage. Simons is scheduled to show his autumn/winter 16 collection in Paris later today, coinciding with the launch of his brand new website.
Text Brooke McCord
- Raf Simons