A House United

How one Belgian designer is reinvigorating an American behemoth.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

How one Belgian designer is reinvigorating an American behemoth.

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Since the beginning of this year, much has been said about the need to unite a divided America. At New York Fashion Week in February, such sentiments were expressed in various ways, from slogan tees to exceptionally diverse casts of models. Presenting his debut collection for Calvin Klein in what was the week’s most anticipated show, recently appointed chief creative officer Raf Simons expressed his hopes for the nation through his designs. The Fall/Winter 2017/18 show comprised looks for men and women.

Said the respected Belgian designer of his collection, which included a mix of brightly coloured tailored pieces and feathered cocktail dresses: “It reflects the environment. All of these different people with different styles and dress codes. It’s the future, the past, Art Deco, the city, the American West… It is the coming together of different characters and different individuals, just like America itself.” Beyond ready-to-wear, Simons has also introduced Calvin Klein By Appointment, a made-tomeasure service. Watch out for more changes to come: Following critically acclaimed stints at Jil Sander and Dior, Simons’ latest appointment sees him wield complete creative control over Calvin Klein’s multibilliondollar portfolio – which includes men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections, as well as denim and diff usion lines.

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