Born in Belgium in 1968, Simons studied industrial design in Genk. Inspired by the work of designers such as Martin Margiela, he moved to Antwerp, where the head of the Fashion Department at the city’s Royal Academy encouraged him to start his own label without further study. Launched in 1995, Raf Simons menswear—informed both by classic tailoring and youth culture—had a huge impact on the style of the decade.
In 2005 Simons became artistic director of the Jil Sander label, which under his tenure became known for its vital, sophisticated modernism.
In 2015, Raf Simons left his role as creative director of Dior Women, a position that he held since 2012, to concentrate on his own label and other collaborations. A passionate collector of contemporary art and modern design, Simons’ aesthetic is often informed by his admiration for art and he regularly engages in interdisciplinary collaborations. Since August 2016 he is the Chief Creative Officer for Calvin Klein.