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Raf Simons Lands at Prada in New Co-Creative Director Role

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Prada just doubled its design power.

The Italian luxury fashion house announced Sunday that Raf Simons will join the brand as co-creative director, working in partnership with Miuccia Prada with equal responsibilities for creative input and decision making.

This is Simons’ first appointment since his abrupt exit from Calvin Klein in 2018.

“As times change, so should creativity,” the company stated in a release. Underscoring a “deep reciprocal respect” between the co-creative directors, Prada said the partnership “opens a new dialogue between designers widely acknowledged as two of the most important and influential of today” and challenges the “idea of creative authorship.”

The appointment of a second creative director breaks away from the tradition that typically places one figurehead at the helm of fashion houses. And in the case of Prada, that direction has been led by Miuccia since 1978. However, during a time in fashion that sees consumers responding to collaboration and the clash and marriage of ideas, it may signal a shift in how storied fashion brands can step out of their comfort zones.

All eyes will be on how the partnership unfolds.

Prada, 70, is known making unsexy women’s wear fashionable, while Simons, 51, has earned a reputation for his ambition to revamp brands such as Dior and Calvin Klein. However, both designers share a common passion for contemporary art and conceptual fashion.

The announcement came just two days after Prada’s final solo show and raised some questions about whether the creative partnership is a step toward her retirement. Prada shut down the idea in an interview with The Cut. “Oh, no,” she said. “To do better, to work harder—I’m very interested in this.”

The first Prada collection designed by the co-creative directors will be the Spring/Summer 2021 women’s wear show, presented in Milan in September.