Raf Simons Joins Prada
Photo: Brigitte Lacomb / Willi Vanderperre

Mere days after Miuccia Prada sent yet another lauded collection down the runway, the legendary designer has announced she’s partnering with Raf Simons.

In a historic move for the Italian fashion house, Simons will join Prada as co-creative director, working alongside the 70-year-old designer “with equal responsibilities for creative input and decision-making”.

Simons will take his place at the fashion house as of 2 April 2020, and the pair will present their first co-created collection as part of Milan Fashion Week SS21, this September.

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Raf Simons Joins Prada
Photo: Sean Zanni / Getty

The label stressed the move was born of a mutual admiration and a desire to challenge “the very definition of creative direction”.

“The partnership, encompassing all creative facets of the Prada label, is born from a deep reciprocal respect and from an open conversation – it is a mutual decision, proposed and determined by both parties,” a statement read. “Conceptually, it is also a new approach to the very definition of creative direction for a fashion brand – a strong challenge to the idea of singularity of creative authorship… As times change, so should creativity.”

Whispers about the Belgian designer’s involvement at Prada have been gaining momentum since January when people pointed out the many similarities in Prada’s AW20 menswear show and Simons’ aesthetic.

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This played into rumours that Miuccia was lining up her successor – a point that was raised during the press conference for the announcement. When asked whether Simons joining would see her step back, she laughed, “I like working and I look forward to working more – don’t make me older than I am. Sincerely, I think I will have to work more. I wish I would have more time [to relax] but I doubt it.”

Miuccia inherited the label from her father in 1978.

While it remains unclear how the synergy between the two designers will play out in the collections, Prada urged “the distinct values and ethos of the Prada brand remain unchanged: this radical creative dialogue, indeed, is a reiteration of the philosophies of both Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons.”

They concluded: “It is perfectly in tune with each designer’s individual history of reinvention, provocation, brave exploration and the power of ideas – now, brought together.”

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.

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