Before ever officially announcing his exit from Dior, Raf Simons spoke to Cathy Horyn for a piece that appears in the new issue of System magazine where he revealed his thoughts on the speed of fashion. In the piece, Simons opens up about the changing pace of fashion, why he's not entirely happy that the industry has gotten less elitist, and where he goes to unwind.
Here are a few standout excerpts from the interview:
On not having enough time - "You know, we did this collection in three weeks," he tells me, not defending the show but, rather, stating the reality that now faces high-fashion houses. "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."
"The problem is when you have only one design team and six collections, there is no more thinking time. And I don’t want to do collections where I’m not thinking. In this system, Pieter [Mulier, Simons’ right hand] and I can’t sit together and brainstorm — no time. I have a schedule every day that begins at 10 in the morning and runs through the day, and every, every minute is filled. From 10.10am to 10.30am, it’s shoes, let’s say. From 10.30 to 11.15, it’s jewelry. Everything is timed — the whole week. If there’s a delay in a meeting, the whole day is fucked up."
"What are you going to do? Walk out of the office at 8 o’clock at night? No, of course not. So you stay there until midnight. That’s the life."
On fashion no longer being elitist - "Fashion became pop. 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."
To read the complete text of Cathy Horyn's interview with Raf Simons, be sure to pick up the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of System magazine.