Raf Simons Masterfully Depicts Youth Culture for AW19

Blending Americana influences, the Belgian designer combines tradition with a forward thinking outlook.

A central figure within the contemporary menswear landscape, Raf Simons has wowed audiences with his cross-cultural brand of minimalism since his label's beginnings in 1995. Heavily interested in pop-culture references, graphic prints and a nuanced approach to visual culture, Simons has delivered some of menswear most sought after garments in the past few decades. A stalwart of European fashion, the designer's creative prowess and stylistic sensibility is unrivalled.

Presenting a collection with the spirit of America and a forward-thinking outlook, the Belgian designer combines his detail-driven look with a highly contemporary point of view. Playing with proportion and offering micro-embellishments that subtly alter the traditional aesthetic of the garments, Simons carefully renegotiates the way they are perceived.

In a nod to his iconic NY sweatshirt from AW17, Simons presents an oversized knitted sweatshirt with his initials in place of the ode to the Big Apple. Vibrant in a crimson red, this oversized garment is contorted with exaggerated sleeves and a cropped fit - an ideal piece for layering throughout the colder months. On foot, the unmistakable silhouette of the adidas x Raf Simons Ozweego glistens with a mirrored lower portion, maintaining the model's iconic status as a central instigator of the 'dad' sneaker trend. Complete with a selection of Simons' denim pieces, the designer's signature 'RS' leather patch sits proudly to the chest while miniature hoops offer the ability for customisation.

As luck would have it, this collection also sees Simons extend his accessories selection to include a plethora of keyrings perfect for personalising the collection's denim pieces. Depicting his initials, cherries and a nod to New Order's classic electronic track 'Blue Monday', embellishment is encouraged for a twist on the norm. Continuing his fruitful collaborative relationship with American rugged luggage brand Eastpak, Simons applies an esoteric inspiration to his latest offering of rucksacks and waist bags. Covered with large metal loops, bondage is centred as a primary influence across the collaboration. Functional, yet rooted in an aesthetic of fetish, this twist adds a unique point of view to the capsule's proceedings.

Continuing to showcase his unique ability to create garments that offer the perfect blend of minimalism, cultural appeal and a refined outlook, Raf Simons maintains his status as one of menswear's premier designers.

The Raf Simons AW19 collection is available online now at END.