Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada closed out the final day of Milan Fashion Week with a bombshell announcement: The pair are joining forces as co-creative directors at Prada.
During a live news conference held at the Italian fashion house's headquarters on Sunday evening, it was announced that Raf and Miuccia will work as partners "with equal responsibilities for creative input and decision making." Simons starts his new position at Prada in April, with the duo's first collection debuting during a fashion show this fall in Milan.
"We like each other, we respect each other. I was sometimes criticized for not doing collaborations, so now I am doing one,” Miuccia said of the history-making move, to which Simons added: "There’s more strength when two creatives believe in it, than when one believes in it. If we both believe in it, we’re going to do it."
Simons — who was first tapped by the Prada Group in 2005 as creative director of Jil Sander — delved into the topic of designers not sharing the spotlight further, and how he and Miuccia are setting a new precedent in the industry. "It’s hardly discussed openly, lots of designers are questioning their own position in an ever-evolving fashion system,” he said per WWD.
"I question the role of creativity in fashion. It brought me to discussions with lots of designers. We have to look at creativity... how can that evolve?" Raf said, according to Vogue. "At this moment, lots of creatives feel troubled, feel the fashion industry is [becoming] an industry where it might move to excluding creatives... We do believe that collaborating could reposition that aspect of the business.”
However, some have speculated that the appointment of Raf is the beginning of Miuccia's succession plan, but she quickly shot down rumors of retirement. "I like working, and I’m very excited and this will bring new wind. Please don’t make me older than I am,” she joked.
Meanwhile, Simons confirmed that he will continue working on his namesake label in tandem with the co-designing of Prada's new collections — a role that has no expiration date. As for the length of their contract, Prada mused, "In theory, it's forever."