Raf Simons Talks With Cathy Horyn About The Pace Of Fashion

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

Raf Simons leaving Dior a couple of weeks ago pretty much broke the fashion industry and his claims that everything he worked on didn't have enough time to develop added fuel to the conversation about fashion's ever-increasing pace. Citing his desire to work on other projects with more incubation time, Simons spoke with fashion's #1 critic Cathy Horyn about leaving Dior and fashion at large. If you haven't heard enough quotes about how little time fashion brands have to create full collections, this interview will give you more than enough. Simons comes out hot:

You know, we did this collection [S/S 16 Ready-to-wear] in three weeks. Tokyo was also done in three weeks. Actually everything is done in three weeks, maximum five. And when I think back to the first couture show for Dior, in July 2012, I was concerned because we only had eight weeks. ... Also, what people forget is that when you do a runway show, it eats time away from your schedule. Just the prep time before a show is six or seven days, especially when you are showing abroad.

He also breaks down how those collections actually come about. With careful division of talent between multiple design teams, each group works on a different collection to make the packed calendar of six shows even possible. But the brainstorming and creative ideation that he does at his own brand and previously at Jil Sander didn't exist at Dior, he says. So while Dior's infrastructure means ideas can be produced quickly and efficiently, there's no time for back-up plans. Simons also says he isn't sure how he feels about fashion becoming mainstream pop culture: "I can’t make up my mind if that’s a good or a bad thing. The only thing I know is that it used to be elitist. And I don’t know if one should be ashamed or not to admit that maybe it was nicer when it was more elitist, not for everybody. Now high fashion is for everybody." Now that'll make you think.

Read an excerpt of the interview at The Business of Fashion and the full thing in the F/W 15 issue of System.

Latest in Style