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Kvadrat Balder 3 Fabric

by Raf Simons
for Kvadrat

The subtly varie­gated colors of Balder from Kvadrat bring an invit­ing soft­ness to uphol­stered furni­ture. Orig­i­nally designed by Fanny Aronsen and re-colored by Raf Simons, Balder is woven from several differ­ent tones of thread in an appar­ently irreg­u­lar weave pattern that creates subtle fluc­tu­a­tions in color across the surface of the fabric.

Ranging from fresh and direc­tional to reas­sur­ingly classic and rich, the key color­ways of Balder are based on greens, greys, purples, pinks, and yellow. In some instances, the base color is combined with a top note color — in one, a pink is woven together with a vibrant orange, in another with a vibrant green — with refresh­ing but surpris­ingly understated results.

Raf Simons

In just two decades, the Belgian designer Raf Simons has headed four of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses, transformed the silhouette of men’s fashion, and reimagined the way street style and fine art can influence design. Restless and yet fully-actualized in his aesthetic from the start, Simons continually manages to surprise while reasserting his sharp, fearless vision.

Simons studied industrial and furniture design in Genk, but an internship at Walter Van Beirendonck set the stage for his life in fashion. In 1995, he founded his own menswear label, specializing in razor-thin suiting. By the turn of the century, men around the world had tightened up their apparel. Two months before 9/11, Simons showed a controversial collection accessorized by face-coverings and lit flares. Four years later, he introduced sex appeal to minimalism as head of men’s and womenswear for Jil Sander. In 2012, Dior came calling; in response, he provided edgy takes on smoking suits and pastel couture as creative director. Simons shocked the industry by resigning in 2016, launching a collection under his own name that applied Robert Mapplethorpe’s homoerotic photography to streetwear, then joining Americana icon Calvin Klein as chief creative officer. His kitsch collaborations with Sterling Ruby and taxicab-yellow makeover of John Pawson’s minimalist temple of a Madison Avenue flagship attracted major attention, but after two years Simons moved on again.

In 2014, Simons initiated an ongoing collaboration with Kvadrat, utilizing the Danish master’s innovative textiles in a Calvin Klein collection. The apparel was such a success that the pair decided to bring the fabrics home, for a series of textile collections marrying Simon’s severe wit and Kvadrat’s peerless fabrications. Meanwhile, the catwalk came calling again: in April 2020, Simons joined Prada in the role of co-creative director.

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