The muse-artist relationship is a weird one. Like, sure, all these designers and photographers and shit have their own muses, but I don't really get it. Maybe it's because I don't have the mental capacity to understand a creative relationship like that, but I always picture a sculptor having his friend stand naked in front of him while he chips away at a huge block of marble. However, these relationships are extremely important in the fashion world and thanks to Another Magazine you get to meet Raf Simons' muse, Robbie Snelders.
Snelders was 20-years-old when Raf Simons discovered him in 1998. Like any other Antwerp youth at the time, his life mainly consisted of going to clubs, listening to hard techno and living with his girlfriend. When he was locally tapped for an upcoming runway casting, showing up in army pants and Dr. Martens, the two hit it off and became fast friends, bonding over shared interests. Unbeknownst to Snelders, he was pretty much the archetype for the youth subculture being explored by Simons in his work at the time. Starting in the showroom before making his debut in Simons' S/S 1998 "Black Palms" show, Snelders became almost like an avatar for both the brand and designer, so to speak.
Today, Snelders still lives in Antwerp, still wears fatigues and Docs, and does odd modeling jobs here and there. He represents a definitive menswear look of the late '90s, an undercover influence you wouldn't find unless you dove deep into the stacks.