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Fashion

We Break Down Raf Simon's Influence On Calvin Klein

One of the biggest impacts of Raf Simons’ appointment as chief creative officer of Calvin Klein in 2016: a unified vision across all the brand’s lines for the first time in over a decade – and most apparent this season. Keng Yang Shuen discovers his influence on each one in Seoul.

Calvin Klein 205W39NYC

What: The American label’s luxury RTW line, previously known as Calvin Klein Collection

The Raf effect: Besides the name change to reflect the address of the brand’s New York headquarters (despite being a mouthful, it’s very “NYC”, straightforward and, in turn, very “Raf”), he wasted no time  in introducing his signature sense of colour – saturated reds, yellows, greens and oranges – and wry yet romantic view on traditional Americana tropes from his F/W ’17 debut. (He arguably kicked off the revival of cowboy boots.) For S/S ’18, the Belgian mined Hollywood – specifically notions of American horror and beauty – as well as Andy Warhol. The end result was a vivid play on contrasts: gentle evocations of ’50s couture silhouettes (a motif throughout his career, dating back to his Jil Sander days) updated with sporty, technical fabrics like nylon and rubber (a hallmark of his cult eponymous label).

Calvin Klein Jeans

What: The brand’s decidedly casual collection of staples geared more towards the youthful crowd with its focus on denim

The Raf effect: Many elements seen in 205W39NYC are now unmistakable here – from the cowboy boots to the colour-blocked shirts and marching pants. The difference?  These are more everyday-friendly in style, fabric and price. This season’s vaguely ’60s denim minidress, paired with patent leather boots, hints at Simons’ obsession with youth culture. The ’90s “cK Calvin Klein Jeans” logo shows up on patches that serve up a dose of nostalgia as much as utilitarianism, and cheeky dig at street culture – three things Raf is known for.