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Kvadrat Vanir Fabric

by Raf Simons
for Kvadrat

Bespoke and sarto­r­ial, Vanir from Kvadrat is a felted woolen textile inspired by histor­i­cal woolen mili­tary coats and created through an exact­ing tech­nique that makes a dense yet soft felt with dissolved but distinct speck­les of color from the bouclé yarn. The shorn surface is smooth and plush, lending a digni­fied elegance to the uphol­stery. Vanir is an evolu­tion of Raf Simons’ fasci­na­tion with trans­lat­ing the subtle coloration and texture of a classic fashion textile into a fabric suit­able for furni­ture. Simons inten­tion­ally kept the palette restrained to earthy base tones remi­nis­cent of classic tweed, pairing them with fresh colors in unex­pected combi­na­tions. The density of the fabric and dissolved high­lights give added depth to classic neutrals in char­coal, dark brown, stone, and natural wool.

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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