Raf Simons And The Future Of American Menswear

by MR Magazine Staff

Earlier this month, Raf Simons was officially unveiled as chief creative officer of American fashion behemoth Calvin Klein. The clues were there, if you looked hard enough — not just in the excited chatter of already-convinced editors, but in the clothes themselves. At Pitti Uomo in Florence this June, Raf’s collection was overlaid with the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe, the clothing becoming a frame for the American artist’s work. There was a male torso on a shirt, an erect cock on the back of a jacket, Mapplethorpe’s own topless self-portrait on a leather vest. Backstage, Raf likened it to an exhibition, a retrospective. But what does Mapplethorpe have to do with Calvin Klein? A good question. Mapplethorpe is one of those quintessential American artists whose work is revisited again and again, just as Klein was one of those quintessentially American fashion designers. But here, what entwines the two is not the country of their birth but a fascination — an obsession even — with the male body. Read more at i-D.