AFAM will recognize Simons specifically for his work with American quilts at Calvin Klein. Since joining the company in 2016, the Belgian-born Simons has incorporated quilts into the visual language of the brand, infusing the brand with his take on Americana. Quilts have appeared in the collections, advertising campaigns, and most recently in a design project with Cassina at Design Miami/Basel.
Some of Simons’ quilts have been embroidered with phrases such as “Made in New York City,” and “Designed in America.” A collection of vintage American quilts — all sourced by Simons and the Calvin Klein Home team — hangs in the Madison Avenue flagship store among installations designed by Sterling Ruby.
“Raf Simons is one of the world’s most influential designers, and his focus on American quilts shines a light on a potent art form that the American Folk Art Museum has long collected, exhibited and championed,” said Monty Blanchard, president of the board of trustees, American Folk Art Museum. “AFAM has one of the world’s most significant collections of American quilts. Quilts are a powerful creative expression, and we enthusiastically applaud Mr. Simons for his work at Calvin Klein.”
The American Folk Art Museum gala will also honor Elyse and Lawrence B. Benenson, social and cultural charitarians, and the Wunsch Americana Foundation, which is dedicated to education and investment in American decorative arts, particularly among younger generations.
The event will take place at the Ziegfeld Ballroom at 141 West 54th Street in New York.