By  on October 27, 2008

Man cannot live by minimalism alone- and that includes Raf Simons, one of its most loyal and expert practitioners. The Belgian designer, who has been at the helm of Jil Sander for three years, already has opened the door by introducing dresses and eveningwear into the vocabulary of a brand prized for tailoring and  design purity. But for spring 2009, Simons flung the door wide open, letting the energy of Africa and the Twenties pulsate through one of the finest— and most refined—collections in Milan, with jewelry, sunglasses and fringed handbags adding to the excitement of witnessing a designer unleashed.

“I knew in the long run I couldn’t only think about minimalism and purism,” says Simons over the phone from Milan, where he is already doing fittings for the Sander pre-fall collection. “I am who I am and I need to be free to be inspired by what I think. I want to create my own freedom more than ever.” Ditto for the Jil Sander customer. “I want her to evolve,” Simons says. “I don’t want her to be stuck with one thing.”

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