Editors’ letter

It was all going so well.

Raf Simons had graciously spent the past six months, on and off, discussing life at Dior for this issue of System. Cathy Horyn’s resulting piece presented a designer coming to terms with the ever-increasing demands of heading up one of fashion’s most monumental institutions – and the ever-decreasing time he had in which to conjure up newness, countless times a year. We even had a title for it: ‘More More More Dior’.

And then came the announcement that Raf Simons had chosen to leave the house of Dior. With half of our pages already printed (that original title still appears on the contents page), we pressed ‘pause’, asked Cathy to write an epilogue, and sat down to reread what Raf had said in the interviews, searching for traces of the deliberation that was clearly in his thoughts, if not his words.

With hindsight (that most revealing, yet futile of prisms through which to observe a situation), the intimacy of the piece offers a window into a man questioning his situation, his life, his future. At one point, Raf asks the question – as much to himself – ‘How do you pull away from all this tension in your professional life? Do you buy a house and start doing pottery?’

Well, we half-jokingly thought to ourselves pre-announcement, pottery’s gain would certainly be fashion’s immense loss. At the time of the comment, Cathy responded in faux-firm and affectionate tones: ‘Don’t do pottery, Raf’.

And as she has just now suggested, several hours after hearing the news of his departure, ‘We really should learn to take Raf at his word’.

Taken from System No. 6.