Kvadrat Ria Fabric
The use of color in Ria from Kvadrat takes inspiration from Pointillism, the painterly technique through which vibrant fields of color are built up by applying pure pigment in precise, individual dots. Each of Ria’s colorways brings together three tones of yarn. The textile base is made up of thinner, single-toned yarn, through which is woven two colors of thicker yarn to create subtly textured dotting of color across the surface.
Softer colorways include a duck egg blue ground with tones of primrose and golden yellow, stone with winter white and lavender, and natural wool with dusty pink and pine green. Similar tones play out across darker variations of Ria, which are woven with a charcoal base. Bolder versions of both paler and darker colorways incorporate yarns in a true orange and cobalt blue.
As with the Pointillists’ optic mixture, the fragmented colors of Ria created a subtle shimmering effect, which is emphasized by the use of viscose. Continuing to explore three-dimensional texture found throughout the Kvadrat/Raf Simons collection, Ria has an inviting rough texture.
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.