By TIANWEI ZHANG, MARTINO CARRERA
LONDON — Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons revealed Monday on Instagram that he is shutting down his own label after “an extraordinary 27-year journey.”
The spring 2023 show staged during Frieze London last month will be the designer’s last collection for his own brand.
Andrew Groves, director of the menswear archive at the University of Westminster, said the moment he heard the news, he immediately thought of the film “Control,” which is about the life of Ian Curtis, the singer of the late-1970s English post-punk band Joy Division.
“Not only is Joy Division so entwined with Simons’ work, but this final move by Simons is surely about control. It has, after all, been what has driven his career over the last 27 years, it is in his approach to design, presentation, and communication,” Groves said.
“His work for me has always embodied the turbulent emotions of adolescence, bubbling just beneath the surface yet always just under control. When other designers have left their namesake brands, such as Helmut Lang and Martin Margiela, these have continued to greater or lesser success, and I can understand Simons’ desire for his brand not to suffer the same fate,” he added.
Groves also suspects that there will be a second act. “Similar to how New Order emerged from the demise of Joy Division, I’m hoping this is merely a prelude to something else, something unusual and surprising,” he said.