If Raf Simons is known as a menswear designer whose ideas have shaped and reshaped the industry for almost a quarter of a century, his clothes have a universality that reaches far beyond that relatively narrow remit. He designs worlds, for people. “I want to see emotion and spirit and attitude,” he says. And the power of his clothes lies in his ability to make those ephemeral, romantic notions material, real. Raf Simons was born in a place that no longer exists. Neerpelt, a small town about 60 miles to the east of Antwerp and close to the border with Holland, had a population of about 16,000. That sounds doom-mongering: there was no drama, no apocalypse – earlier this year, it was simply combined with another, nearby municipality, Overpelt. It’s now just called Pelt, which isn’t terribly inventive: the name comes from the Romans, who dubbed the area Palethe, meaning boggy land. That isn’t overwhelmingly interesting, and likewise, Neerpelt wasn’t notable for much, bar being the birthplace of Simons, and for the Klankenbos, the biggest sound-art collection in a public space in Europe. Which is weird, because music and art are two of few unifying factors in the diverse career of Simons – twin passions that are often reflected in his work, in unusual and electrifying fashion, inciting as much excitement in the onlooker as Simons feels inside. Read more at Another.