A fashion marketing expert explains why the brand has lost its relevance

Everything changes. This is true for both our ideas and the material world. Raf Simons has perfect timing for the closing of his label.

The SS23 Prada Womenswear Collection by Miuccia Prada & Raf Simons.

Simons, now the creative director of Prada, has closed his label just in time to preserve the undeniable impact his brand made on the industry and also to enable him to expand his vision at a larger house.

It couldn’t have come at a better time. Prada was rated as “best global brand 2022” by the brand consultancy Interbrands in November. It is valued at USD$6.548 Billion.

As a fashion marketing expert, Simons’s choice reflects reality in the industry. As a fashion marketing expert, I believe that Simons’s decision reflects the fact of the industry.

Catherine Hudson, an associate lecturer at the University of East London in fashion design, shared with me another perspective: “What Simons used to be known for, namely bomber jackets and pop culture-inspired themes, patchwork and loose fittings, other designers have now grabbed onto.” His brand just hasn’t remained relevant.”

What is the Raf-Simons line famous for?

In a recent article on fashion legacy, Nicole Johnson wrote: “The most important fashion brands and designers have stood the test of history. They have occupied distinct places in fashion’s past.” These icons had the unique opportunity to influence generations.”

Raf Simons, who was able to reframe pop culture’s relationship with art nd fashion, set the trend for menswear thin the late nineties with is casual, stylish, luxurious, and deconstructed iSimons questioned the system by creating nonconforming design that spoke both to his industry as well as his fans. Nightmares and Dreams was his fall 2016 menswear line, which featured fragments of his 20-year archive. This suggested a reclamation after he departed from Dior. The statement of the season was made by ripped, oversized sweaters. Down jackets were also worn, as well as misaligned or twisted coats.

Raf Simons Fall Winter 2019/2020 Collection.

Simons’s fall/winter 2019/2020 collection, following his dramatic departure from Calvin Klein, was rife with messages that cultists delighted in decoding. Steve Salter, a journalist for Vice in a retrospective, observed that “Raf’s vision was darker and dirtier than anything else we’d seen before. The counterculture genius let the statement-filled collection speak.”

Why did Raf Simons need to close down?

Simons has been enthralling a young fan base for nearly three decades with his fusion of luxury fashion, hip-hop music, and hype. This is the mark that his brand will make on fashion history.

Youth culture today wants something else. Fashion fans of today are awed by the exclusivity and subculture of brands such as Supreme, the marketing genius of Balmain, Balenciaga, and metaverse brands like RTFKT. Hugo Boss is reaching out to new audiences with TikTok celebrities like Khaby Lame.

Fans queue in front of an Off-White shop in Melbourne, Australia. Robertus Benny Murdhani

Raf Simons, while brands such as Tommy Hilfiger or Lacoste were restructuring to deal with the streetwear obsession of the fashion industry, lost sight of what youth culture needed. Raf Simons’ failure to adapt to his fans’ changing needs kept his brand stuck in the past. The audience that once embraced his collections slowly shrank.

Raf Simons, however, has left behind a legacy. Prada is likely to maintain his reputation as an innovator, transforming the art of countercultures in contemporary fashion under his tenure. Raf Simons’ visions are far from over with the closing of his brand.

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