When Dior and I hits theaters today, it will cement 47-year-old Raf Simons’ position as more than just a designer. Yes, trap boys all over his knew name after A$AP Rocky confessed “Raf Simons, Rick Owens usually what I’m dressed in,” and of course that’s if they didn’t already know his name from when Kanye West interviewed the designer in 2008, but this film pushes things to another level. Though the weirdest part is, it sort of glosses over the area where Simons has had the most influence—menswear.
When the Belgian designer started in fashion, he caught accolades left and right for his forward-thinking approach to how dudes should dress. After interning for Walter Van Bierendonck—who himself had been exercising more than a bit of #influence via the Antwerp Six—and crying at 1991 Maison Martin Margiela “White” show, the designer struck out on his own in 1995. That was a full 20 years ago and since then he’s pushed the silhouette of menswear three, maybe four times and positioned himself at the creative forefront, season after season. Want proof? We count down five ways that Raf Simons affected current menswear trends—years before any rapper or hot brand did it.