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Raf Simons / Sterling Ruby F/W 14 - paris

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There are some cool pieces that will look great when worn in a calm outfit.

I´m not sure about the white leather (?) pants and the huge shoes though...

I guess they´re great for kicking someone´s ass though. Imagine being in an argument and going "You had it comin´- I´m flicking this switch on my boots, now they´re in fighting mode!"

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The pants Sterling is wearing here is something I would've loved to see more of. It's got more of the rawness I envisioned when I read the announcement. 

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The weirdest part about it is how commercial all of this seems. It all seems very well made, but none of it is particularly challenging. Embellished basics. Perhaps that's what happens when you give the keys to someone who doesn't know anything about how to cut clothes.

 

He did not give the keys to the atelier to Sterling. All of the shapes are cut by Raf and his team, with Sterling bringing the imagination to the blank canvas of Raf's work. The 'New Shape', structured items of tunic length, that Raf focused on for SS14 was everywhere, emblazoned with Sterling's graphics. What more could you expect? Him to morph one of his installations into a jacket? He cannot cut clothes and Raf is not an artist. That is the whole point. I think what you were expecting from the collection is impossible. It is more a partnership than a collaboration.

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Woah that coat is amazing

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Was I expecting SOMETHING?  No.

 

Do I like this collection? Yes. Am I surprised? Yes.

 

I've accepted the fact that the Raf boy is now someone who is into arts as opposed to the one that was obsessed with goth rock and post punk. There is a consistency here the lack of which some people reproached to Raf, a few years ago.

 

That said, I was surprised to see the comeback of militarywear (and the old school Raf boy) here, and was very happy to see big coats with back patches. Certain fabrics seem interesting to me (keep in mind I am saying this while thinking the paint and bleach splatters are woven within the fabrics and not prints). The lining in the coats look nice and knitwear looks fantastic(ly warm). The knit swatches as patches are nice details.

 

Bags? Useful! I can easily imagine the Raf boy carryring around his paint buckets and supplies. I can easily imagine Sterling Ruby carrying those things. I wouldn't be surprised if he carries his supplies in one of those military bags that is similar but 4x the size of the ones we are looking at.

Ugly Bunny boots? Hell yeah! I think it might be a tongue in cheek move from Raf who knows that people buy the trainers he's doing with Adidas and decided, with his friend, to make some oversized Mickey Mouse boots, knowing that people will buy them.

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dear friend, your observations are acute and appreciated. maybe my assessment was too cynical, too biting. maybe not.

 

the major positives i took from ruby/raf's presentation was in its sheer force of earnestness. those two clearly delight in working together. most of the collection per-mutates with that positive vibe. the realness seeps through in waves versus ripples. walter van beirendonck's influence on his collections, as of late, seems to be more oblique and less literal this time. that's a nice change. also, those desirable print coats...i mean come ON. COME. ON.

 

overall though, haven't we seen these items before? and wasn't it better the first time? edges were more unfinished, purely unfinished, the slim was less pushy and more organic, and patches didn't come off all "ah yes! raf did that for dior spring14 womens." no matter how many slogans, balloon shoes, truly eye catching greatcoats, or dictums of craft come my way, the collection doesn't come off as a new path. nor does it harken back to the good old diy's.

 

in totality, it all seems well-intentioned, but completely naff. you know i'm not some codger pining for a 98-05 resurgence. i'd simply like him to propose something that doesn't insult my archived feelings for his archives. now, the collection is clearly solid. maybe updates on 'gattaca' gloves (raf07), nature prints (rafjil08) and macreme'd granny knits (rafjil 12) make a better impression in real time. online however, sterling simons may be selling, but i ain't buying.

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looking at the runway shots i was initially not impressed, but the photos bill posted above made me change my mind. this is definitely a collection that needs to be appreciated up close. yellow splatter coat might end up being a grail for me, and that fathers sweatshirt is definitely on my buy list. totally intrigued by this collection, even the weird "ugly" oversized boots

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Everything is handpainted/dyed/printed by Sterling Ruby and also numbered.
For garments labeled as limited edition, only five of each will exist.
Garments labelled as unique are unique as the patches and fabrics are different and were placed at different places.

 

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http://charlieporter.net/stories/13612

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Potentially lost my shit from all this excitement. Hope that it will ll stay in a relevant price range – buyer's seem relatively pleased, tho I hope that isn't the greed making them happy.

 

Glad to see though that this new aesthetic is managing to seep it's way across Simons' output. Saw photos of his AW14 collaboration with Fred Perry's Laurel line and there's shades of this also.

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I think my favorite collection by Raf Simons is FW08 because the items there had amazing cut: very structured with fine detailing. this collection is all about bleach splashes that is quite boring - and the "unique" items are quite common stuff with patches sewn over - common, this is not design, that's decorating... ;(

 

Though I should admit it's much better than most recent collections by RS

Edited by fire_of_desire

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"...is quite boring - and the "unique" items are quite common stuff with patches sewn over - common, this is not design, that's decorating..."

 

i've held back from saying anything about this collection too early but with it having been more than a week, it's been enough time to let it sink in. seems like the general feeling on this is very much that it looks underwhelming and generic (above^^^). that when you step back away from the patches, graphic hits and whatever else, what is on offer is just plain boring clothes.

 

which is true in a way. strip off the maximal surface and you're left with a very minimal base. but it makes sense for Raf to have done that, maybe he was just working within the constraints (which is not a bad thing) of the collaboration. from our perspective, we keep wanting more design, more everything but without having a sense of those constraints. as Tim Blanks puts forth in his preview, "Then, on some level, there is surely the issue of dimensionality, meaning the scale of Ruby’s own work versus menswear’s dimensions (there are rumors of a coat composed of seventy-five different types of fabric, which sounds pretty, er, massive). But that was a challenge Simons saw as his own: for the designer to find solutions to technical issues so the artist’s creativity wouldn’t be restricted."

 

 

the maximal surface shouldn't be glossed over and to be thought of as just patches. because i think you need to look at this collection, not from the lens of fashion but art. as a judge of Sterling more than Raf. it helped me to have a wander over Sterling's archive and maybe once you do so, will you see this not as boring clothes but as moving art.

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i've held back from saying anything about this collection too early but with it having been more than a week, it's been enough time to let it sink in. seems like the general feeling on this is very much that it looks underwhelming and generic (above^^^). that when you step back away from the patches, graphic hits and whatever else, what is on offer is just plain boring clothes.

 

which is true in a way. strip off the maximal surface and you're left with a very minimal base. but it makes sense for Raf to have done that, maybe he was just working within the constraints (which is not a bad thing) of the collaboration. from our perspective, we keep wanting more design, more everything but without having a sense of those constraints. as Tim Blanks puts forth in his preview, "Then, on some level, there is surely the issue of dimensionality, meaning the scale of Ruby’s own work versus menswear’s dimensions (there are rumors of a coat composed of seventy-five different types of fabric, which sounds pretty, er, massive). But that was a challenge Simons saw as his own: for the designer to find solutions to technical issues so the artist’s creativity wouldn’t be restricted."

 

 

the maximal surface shouldn't be glossed over and to be thought of as just patches. because i think you need to look at this collection, not from the lens of fashion but art. as a judge of Sterling more than Raf. it helped me to have a wander over Sterling's archive and maybe once you do so, will you see this not as boring clothes but as moving art.

 

Probably should see it in person. 

Where will "unique" and limited items be sold? Raf Simons has no boutiques apart from Japan as far as I know..

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^the items were offered to all stockists – suppose it's more a matter of who's willing to buy? (museum piece anyone?)

 

That said, the SRP apparently wont be too absurd, a backpack would retail around 400euro mark.

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Beyond The Interzone

The visionary Belgian designer on fear, isolation and how Sterling Ruby inspired him to rip it up and start again

 

Like most teenagers, Raf Simons spent his youth obsessively sewing band patches (“Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Sonic Youth, Black Flagâ€) on to his clothes. Fast-forward decades later and Simons, whose namesake label has singlehandedly changed the face of contemporary menswear over the last 19 years, is still taking his cues from the early moments of adolescent angst and expressive rebellion. He embraces clothing as tool for self-expression and a vehicle for big ideas, rather than just its literal qualities.

This season, he pushed his love of “finding himself in new interzones†to new extremes by inviting LA-based artist Sterling Ruby to work with him. But this wasn’t just another fashion collaboration; it was a whole new brand, for one night only. With no rules and lots of attitude, it was a throwback to Simons and Ruby’s love of early punk, featuring collaged garments and lots of patches. In a world where entire generations of youth live online, Simons and Ruby proved that Tumblr shrines have nothing on real-life ideologies.

Today, Raf Simons is travelling from Antwerp to Paris as he prepares to start work on his fifth ready-to-wear collection for Dior as creative director. The poster boy for rebel fashion is taking life at the heights of the system in his stride, but he hasn’t stopped testing its limitations. The question remains: can Simons stay an outsider in his rarefied position?

I

I don’t overthink the idea that I might be an outsider. I guess it’s just how people see me sometimes. When I was younger, I took more of an attacking attitude. I always felt like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I guess a lot of teenagers feel like that.

II

In a way, this season was about applying an outsider theory to fashion. It was emotional from the very moment I thought about doing it, because I didn’t really know if Sterling would say yes. I mean, if he asked me to do a show with him at Hauser & Wirth – and don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that’s something he would ever do – I’m not sure that I would dare to step into another field the way he has with this. I like to take control with things and I’m very specific in how I work. In my opinion, this was something that hasn’t really been done before. It wasn’t just my brand, it was our brand, and literally everything would be decided by us. For both of us, it was important to take the chance to get out of our own systems.

I reached out to Sterling because he is so strong and has such specific ideas about things. We’ve known each other for nine years and have a fantastic dialogue. I had no fear that it wouldn’t work out, but at the same time there was a step that needed to be made. I said: ‘Listen, the most important thing is that we’re completely convinced by anything we make together, because otherwise as a project it doesn’t make sense to me.’ It was scary, but at the same time it was very freeing.

Then we had to think about what we wanted to do, what we felt was relevant to say right now. In a way, it felt like it was a first collection again, something far away from the aesthetic, the thinking process and the attitude of the fashion system. I loved the fact that it felt like the first time, because it was, and I wanted us to take on that attitude. I think it was about coming back to a certain form of language that relates to the early practice and DNA of the brand.

III

In the early days, it was just like, ‘This is what I want to do and I’m just going to do it.’ A decade later, you become connected to a system and naturally that influences your creative process. I’m going to be honest about it, because there have been times in the last six or seven years when I’ve thought, ‘We can’t do it like that any more because it’s not the way fashion is supposed to be.’ So this season, Sterling and myself took on the attitude that we don’t care, that we’re just going to do it the way it should be done. If that means there are 75 pieces of fabric collaged on to a coat – let’s just do it!

IV

It would be false to say that I haven’t come to embrace the system, but in my own way I like to see what I can do within it. There’s this duality in me. Dior is a historic brand that’s been around since the late 40s and Raf Simons is something I established myself in the mid-90s. One is a man, the other is a woman; one is small, the other is big; one is conceptual, the other is not so conceptual. I’ve always needed to have these contrasts. It makes you think and question the other. It can be challenging, but it also makes it very fresh on a psychological level. Let’s say I’ve been in Paris for a week at Dior; then I come back to Antwerp to work on my own brand. Sometimes it can really bring things together in terms of what you want to say at that very moment.

If I have one fear, and if there’s one thing I attack the hardest in my position at Dior, i

 

t’s that I don’t want to become isolated as a designer. It’s so dangerous. You can’t become the authority, the one who says, ‘This is what it should be.’ For me, that’s not the definition of fashion. For me, fashion only makes sense if there’s an action and a reaction. I guess, in that sense, my position is very different from an artist who can have a perfect existence in simply creating. It makes no sense for me if you make clothes that are not worn. 

 

 

I’ve come to really question the system. As much as I am part of it, I have to question it for the simple reason that I wonder how far it can go. How far can it go until the moment that it might not work any more? You know, it needs a very in-depth talk to analyse it and it’s something that I don’t have all the answers to, but I do have a lot of questions. And I don’t think I’m the only one. It’s not just about fashion either, it’s the way we consume, the way we communicate and the way the younger generation look at things.

 

 

VI 

Raf Simons has always been about generation communication and how generations can link with each other. The state of youth today is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. My own generation – maybe not myself, but the people around me – all had very very specific opinions. They might have been negative, positive or reactive, but they were always very specific, despite there being a lack of information. For me, it was all about mystery, the things that were underexposed and that were difficult to find… You know, all the things we were interested in were bubbling in our minds and it made it the whole thing quite romantic. 

 

 

When I ask young kids today, ‘What’s your favourite music? What are you listening to?’ – I’m not kidding you – eight out of ten will say: ‘Everything. I like everything. All genres.’ I’m not even sure if I should say this because I don’t want them to think that it’s strange. I mean, it’s not that I even find it strange, but I just wonder and question why it is. Maybe it’s because people don’t want to be specific any more -– we really wanted to be specific. It’s funny because it’s something Willy (Vanderperre) and I have been talking about recently. When we were young and we went to clubs, there was one genre of music, one dress code and one style of dancing for the whole night. For example, (underground 80s Belgian electronic scene) new beat. You didn’t like that? You didn’t go. You didn’t belong. You would go to a jazz club. These days, if people go to a festival there’s everything. Now, we might miss that because we grew up in a different way, but that is my whole questioning. The younger generation aren’t going to miss something they never had. That’s just not what they’re about and that’s why I get mad when an older generation criticises them. I find it almost painful, because they’re not going to be like we were. We have to realise that. 

 

 

VII 

When you are a fashion designer you have to question why people buy clothes, because I know why I was buying clothes. I knew what I wanted to express. There is this big fascination for me surrounding why people are buying high fashion. Because obviously when you’re talking about high fashion, you’re not talking about practicality. When I was 18, let’s say I had an interest in Helmut Lang or Martin Margiela. You really had to find things out for yourself, and think, ‘Where can I see it?’ Maybe I would get a glimpse of a fragment of a show on TV, or see a tiny picture in The Face or even travel to another city to discover somewhere where they would sell it. The rest was all in your mind. These days, if you have the slightest interest in something, you don’t even have to look for it. It’s already been thrown all over you anyway – you’ve seen the A–Z of the whole thing, and I wonder if that takes away your imagination.

It’s almost a social phenomenon. Everything has become so exposed because of the way we communicate these days. Society is also very money-obsessed and that doesn’t do a lot to promote depth, uniqueness or for someone to be analytical. You want a garment? These days you don’t even need to go to a boutique. You check online, they send it to you and if it doesn’t fit you send it back. No problem! (laughs) So that can go very deep into all of the aspects someone might be interested in, whether that’s porn or clothes or music. I feel like the whole theory behind (his 2003 book and exhibition with Francesco Bonami) The Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes is still relevant, and it would be interesting to think about how that could relate to this moment in time. Let’s just say that I see similarities and I see differences.

 

text by Isabella Burley

 
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photography by Ben Toms

styling by Robbie Spencer

Dazed & Confused, spring-summer 2014.

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Kvadrat x Raf Simons http://www.kvadratrafsimons.com/

Designer and art director Anna Karlin explores the work of Kvadrat x Raf Simons

The Raf Simons / Kvadrat collaboration is the meeting of two artisans: the Danish textile company and the Belgian designer, both noted for their use of colour, rich fabric and a modernist approach to design. NYC-based designer and art director Anna Karlin has created a series of GIFs for AnOther that explore the geometry, deep hues and bouclé twills of the 11-piece interior collection, which includes throws, blankets, cushions and fabrics in lavender, pink, speckled green and bright blue reminiscent of Simons' A/W14 Dior pop-colour collection.

"We began by looking at reccuring shapes from mid-century modern design and played around with creating patterns from what we found," Karlin explains. "We then incorporated the textiles which work so well with the bold but simple shapes from this period." A furniture designer herself, Karlin was instantly drawn to the collection. "I love the colour palette," she enthuses. "The use of muted darks and neutrals mixed with pops of dusty brights is ace, as is the use of heavy texture."
 
Simons is a furniture enthusiast and collector of 20th century design and ceramics, which feeds into his eponymous menswear label and Dior collections, which are dense in upholstery-inspired fabric and inspiration. Kvadrat textiles were worked through his Raf Simons / Sterling Ruby A/W14-15 collection, woven in constructivist stripes and De Stijl block colours across woolen coats and knitwear. His collections have been continually inspired by Bauhaus, from his A/W03 graphic knitwear to his debut Dior S/S13 collection of colour-blocked minimalism and architectural silhouettes.
 
Founded in 1968, Kvadrat are a leading manufacturer of furnishing fabrics, with credits including The Gherkin, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Bilbao Guggenheim and the Copenhagen Opera House. The idea for the partnership was first seeded during Simons A/W11 collection for Jil Sander, when he used the upholstery twill for his heavy-duty woolen coats.
 
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Art Direction by Anna Karlin
Design by Lisa Moses
Text by Mhairi Graham
 
http://www.anothermag.com/current/view/3597/Kvadrat_x_Raf_Simons

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Raf Simons' new textile collection with Kvadrat

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Raf Simons is certainly not your typical fashion designer. With a background in industrial design, a keen collector of 20th century furniture and ceramics, and a creative range that straddles haute couture for Christian Dior and his eponymous menswear line, Simons comes well-furnished to enter into a new interior textile partnership with Danish company Kvadrat, launching tonight in London - and featured in our March issue (W*180), with an exclusive interview by Alice Rawsthorn.

The idea for the tactile pairing first came to light when Simons was researching his A/W 2011 collection for Jil Sander. At the time the designer found his usual suppliers at a loss for the heavier weight fabrics, more reminiscent of upholstery textiles that he was seeking. 'I fell in love with those fabrics: the quality, the density, the colouration,' Simons recalls of his first Kvadrat encounter. 'At some point Kvadrat contacted me through Peter Saville, who I've known since way back and who works for them as an art director. We talked about the idea of my doing a kind of capsule collection. Bingo! I loved the idea.'

Flash forward to Simons' most recent menswear collection, shown last month in Paris, where the fashion world got a preview of his upcoming Kvadrat partnership. The A/W 2014 show, for which the designer collaborated with friend/American artist Sterling Ruby, featured a collaged coterie of overcoats - some showcasing striped patches of 70-plus variations of his flecked Kvadrat textiles.

The official unveiling of this first Kvadrat/Raf Simons collection will include both upholstery fabrics - which the designer describes as 'blank canvases' - and a select few finished products, from luxurious wool and cashmere 'Tronic' throws, to glossy mohair 'Pixie' blankets in saturated hues of royal blue, rich garden green and rose pink.

'The big question for me when designing for Kvadrat is: "Will I want to live with this for the next ten years?"' says Simons. 'People think more deeply about the things they live with in their homes. We want ours to last, so we didn't go wild, wild, wild. And we didn't want them to be too disconnected from what Kvadrat does already.'

 

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Raf & Ruby

by Sarah Nicole Prickett

NY Times


At the top of their creative fields, the fashion designer Raf Simons and the artist Sterling Ruby have succeeded at something almost more elusive and unexpected: a true, collaborative brotherhood.
15culture-well-rafandruby-1-tmagArticle.

The artist Sterling Ruby (left) and the fashion designer Raf Simons at Hauser & Wirth Gallery in New York.

ph.: Stefan Ruiz

 

In 2005, the Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons arranged a studio visit with the American artist Sterling Ruby, whose work he had begun to admire. Simons was taken with Ruby’s layered and volatile ceramics — resembling colored placentas — and bought one, but knew little about the artist behind it. Ruby, a former professional skateboarder and construction worker, knew even less about Simons, a former industrial designer who had become the most influential man in men’s wear.
The two were instantly kin. “We had so much to say to each other,†says Ruby, whose mien is unseriously sunny and chill. “In the 10 years I’ve been doing studio visits, I’ve felt that connection with someone maybe five times. I remember thinking, Wow, I’m really enjoying this! And then, Wow, that’s weird! I even remember what he was wearing — a striped shirt.†He chuckles fondly. We are sitting in a penthouse suite in the Maritime Hotel in New York City, the day before his latest show, “Sunrise Sunset,†opens at Hauser & Wirth, and before the Frieze Art Fair opens to the public. At the mention of Frieze, he shudders. “The entire globe is in New York at one time, which for me is kind of nerve-racking. Every time I go outside on the sidewalk I see someone I know.â€
Twenty-six hours later, Simons tells me over tea at the Pierre that although he finds studio visits “uncomfortable,†he instantly felt a bond with Ruby. “In fashion, there are very few people I trust, even if we are friends,†says Simons, who is as cerebral and stiff-seeming and yet completely sincere as the clothes he makes for his men’s wear line, and for Dior, where he has served as creative director since 2012. “With Sterling I felt right away that I can talk about anything.â€
When I tell him that earlier, at the Maritime, Ruby had remembered it the same way, the designer contorts his face into an interrobang: “Sterling is staying in the Maritime? I could not get a reservation there! Bastard!â€
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From left: Courtesy of Raf Simons/Sterling Ruby (2); Sterling Ruby/Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth/Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

From left: two looks from the fall 2014 collection of Raf Simons’s eponymous men’s wear line, created in collaboration with Sterling Ruby — the two chose aggressive words and slashes of color to create a dynamic and highly successful show; the stuffed flags used in the set echo a mixed-media piece, ‘‘Scale/Bats, Blocks, Drop (4837),’’ which Ruby showed recently at Hauser & Wirth.

This playful brotherliness was evidenced in the patchwork dream coats, paint-splattered suits and colorful sweaters, reminiscent of both gutter-punk aesthetics and gouache decoupage, which Simons and Ruby — as an ad hoc eponymous brand — presented atParis men’s Fashion Week in January. Clothes were emblazoned with logos such as “abus lang†(abusive language) and “fathers.†For the set, Ruby created sacks out of stuffed American flags, similar to ones he has made in his sculptures. To hear them tell it, the one-off hit collection was a Bauhausian effort several months — and nine years — in the making. “We collaborated 100 percent on everything,†Ruby says, as if being interviewed for a marriage-based green card and afraid of failing a question on a technicality. “It’s the kind of collaboration that can make or break a friendship.â€
It is easier to see eye-to-eye with someone who shares your stature, and Simons, 46, and Ruby, 42, have both attained magnitude — separately, and together. The year the two met, Ruby left the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena nearly $300,000 in debt with no M.F.A., having polarized the review committee with his final project; he also had his first solo show in Los Angeles, “Supermax 2005,†at the Marc Foxx Gallery. In 2006 in Milan, Simons showed his debut women’s wear collection for Jil Sander, where, as creative director, he turned the respected but lagging brand into a bastion of principled chic. In 2008, The New York Times art critic Roberta Smith called Ruby “one of the most interesting artists to emerge in this century.†That same year, he had his first solo museum exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Soon, Tilda Swinton, a perennial fashion muse, seemed to wear nothing but Jil Sander. Simons, who was dismissed just two days before his February 2012 show, so that Jil Sander herself could return to the label, cried while taking his last bow; several weeks later, he got the bluest of blue-chip fashion jobs, becoming creative director at Dior. At a Christie’s auction in early 2013, a new acrylic-and-spray-enamel painting by Ruby, “SP231,†went for his all-time record price: $1.7 million. And so on.
But these are men, rare among the successful, who would rather talk about their boyhoods than discuss their careers. Simons grew up in the Flemish village of Neerpelt and was an only child who spent much of his time at the populous farm next door. Ruby, whose mother is Dutch, grew up in New Freedom, Pa. Both boys had strict educations (Catholic school for Simons, a “very straight foundation school†for Ruby) and came of age with ’80s punk, traveling miles to rip the seams out of their cloistered youths (Simons to the town’s one record shop; Ruby to Washington, D.C. for Bad Brains and Black Flag shows).
15culture-well-rafandruby-3-tmagArticle.

Art: Sterling Ruby/Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth/Photo by Robert Wedemeyer. Runway: Courtesy of Dior.

A 2014 diptych by Ruby, titled ‘‘SP275 (1)’’ and ‘‘SP275 (2)’’; for his first Dior couture show, in 2012, Simons developed fabrics based on Ruby’s paintings.

Decades up from their twinned roots, the men today value labor by hand and balance mother-taught craft with highly educated concept. Their sentiments imbricate. Simons goes for long walks alone whenever traveling, but never in New York, where the pace is too fast to be leisurely. He loves America best when he’s in Los Angeles. Ruby, too, feels unease in New York. He listens to Trinidad James and Lil’ Boosie on two-hour drives between his home in a mountainside biker town to his studio in downtown L.A., where five assistants help make his sculptures and none of them touch his sprayed paintings. (Surprisingly, many successful painters today rarely lift a brush to their own canvases.) Simons spends several minutes explaining to this skeptical freelancer his talent for and belief in “doing nothing,†by which, I eventually decide, he means “spending time in quiet contemplation.†You can’t talk to these men about money: When I ask how much one of his urethane sculptures is selling for at Hauser & Wirth, Ruby gives a “search me†shrug, and when I ask whether Simons’s driver, who takes him every weekend from Paris to Antwerp, is paid for by Dior, his publicist quickly steps in. And unnecessarily — after all it is not so hard to believe that Simons is happiest pedaling around Antwerp on his bicycle, and would be happier still if he could make “one collection a year, or one every two years, or three,†and that Ruby would make his Pixar-monster sculptures even if they only ever saw the light of day in his own backyard, never the halogen of a gallery, “because as cheesy as it sounds, it is therapy.â€
In 1988, at the Dia Art Foundation, the poet John Ashbery introduced his friend and fellow poet James Schuyler. “I’ve known Mr. Schuyler so long that it is difficult to remember a time when I was writing and wasn’t his friend,†Ashbery said. “It’s nice to have a writer to whom one feels so close both personally and aesthetically that asking advice from him is only a step removed from consulting oneself. At the same time, I feel he is very different from me, and I’m jealous.â€
I thought of this speech when I walked into Ruby’s show at Hauser & Wirth and Ruby, leaving, pointed me to Simons in the corner. I never saw the two together, but it didn’t matter. I saw a grin I hadn’t seen before on Ruby’s face. And on Simons’s, as he beheld Ruby’s work, a look of anxious and solemn gratitude.

 

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All the AW14 x adidas footwear besides the Stan Smith.

 

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