Since departing Calvin Klein in 2018, the fashion world has been abuzz with what Raf Simons would do next. The Raf rumour mill was rife; there were talks the Belgian designer was starting his own label, or that he was returning to one of the houses he had previously – and very successfully – helmed. After a private press conference in Milan today, we now know: Raf Simons is going to Prada.

In an unexpected move sure to shock the industry, the formidable designer will join Prada as Co-Creative director, working in partnership with the brand’s long-standing matriarch, Miuccia Prada. The two will co-chair creative duties, with equal responsibilities for creative input and decision-making.

Opening an entirely new chapter for the Prada brand, the partnership opens a novel dialogue between designers widely acknowledged as two of the most important and influential of today. Conceptually, it is also a new approach to the very definition of creative direction for a fashion brand, particuary a storied house rich in history like Prada. With this comes a strong challenge to the idea of singularity of creative authorship, whilst also expresses a bold reinforcement of the importance and power of creativity in a shifting cultural landscape.

With innovation key to the identity of Prada, the partnership is just another example of their willingness to push boundaries,  experiment and keep abreast with the industry’s changing culture. While the distinct values and ethos of the Prada brand will remain unchanged, this radical creative narrative is a reiteration of the philosophies of both Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, which will collectively come together in one powerful, Prada vehicle. It’s also a representation of each designer’s individual history of reinvention, provocation, brave exploration and the power of ideas – now, excitingly, merged.

The appointment is effective April 2nd, with the first Prada collection co-designed by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons will be the Spring/Summer 2021 womenswear show, presented in Milan in September 2020. After the marvel he produced at Jil Sander, Christian Dior, and Calvin Klein, September couldn’t come soon enough.