Earlier this year, parent company PVH Corp. didn’t hold back when it dressed down Raf Simons in his final days as head designer Calvin Klein brand. On an November 2019 earnings call not long before the designer was let go, PVH’s CEO Emanuel Chirico accused Simons of overseeing collections he described as “too elevated and did not sell through as well as we planned.” Adding insult to injury, anonymous sources from the company subsequently told WWD, “Simons caused a lot of havoc in the company and overspent on everything.”
Meanwhile, the well-regarded Belgian designer said not a word and as it turns out his decision to stay quiet wasn’t so much about taking the higher road, but rather as legally required by a non-disclosure agreement.
Still, in a interview today (April 10, 2019) with The Guardian related to a collaborative design effort titled “No Man’s Land” on exhibit at Salone de Mobile in Milan, Simons managed to allude to a disconnect between PVH Corp.’s claims and the truth. When the topic of Calvin Klein came up, Simons simply responded, “What you read and what actually happened are not always the same thing.”
Meanwhile, Simons has returned to Antwerp, the home of his eponymous label, where he’s pondering opening an art space. Says Simons, “I want to make things public. I’m not interested in setting up a really private private foundation. Rather something with education and collaboration built into it.”
Check out Simons at his “No Man’s Land” installation below.