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Raf Simons Speaks on Discovering His Desire for Fashion Design

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Dior designer Raf Simons has opened up on the moments that strongly inspired him to move towards his dream of being a top designer. During his early career, Raf was invited to shows by Jean Paul Gaultier and Maison Martin Margiela, and he says the experience of witnessing those two shows changed his outlook and made him realize his desire to design. He explained that the collections made a huge impact on him and he was in tears: "Margiela was the starting point. I have asked myself repeatedly why I started in fashion, and it always came down to the first show I saw: Martin's third collection, The White Collection. Both [that and Gaultier's] show were so impactful, but so different; one more emotional and the other a spectacle. I cried at Martin's show and I felt a bit embarrassed; but half of the crowd were crying as well. I thought, 'Wow is that fashion?' I want to do that."

He adds that seeing those designs in real life made him realize the importance of fashion and the potential it held, and even though he had so much work to do in order to become a top designer at the time, he felt inspired: "That was the moment I understood what fashion could be. I was so far away from being properly involved in the industry then, it looked so out of reach, and yet I thought, 'This is what I am going to do.' Although I didn't tell anyone. And voila."

Raf says his parents are extremely supportive of his design career and admits it can be emotional for them to watch his pieces being presented: "My mother and father are very proud of what I've done. My mother loves it at my shows, she's always chatting to everybody backstage. And, quite coincidentally, she has become good friends with Martin Margiela's mother. My father comes to the shows, too, but we can never talk to each other afterwards, because we do get very emotional together."

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