Before his menswear show in Paris on Saturday, Raf Simons announced that he had severed ties with his manufacturing partner, the Italy-based Futurenet group. He also canceled all appointments with buyers this week, since it's unclear when he'll be able to deliver any orders without a manufacturer. The announcement was made via separate letters from Simons, who stated that sale and delivery dates will be communicated "as soon as possible," and Futurenet, who confirmed that all deliveries of the Raf Simons spring/summer collections will still take place. Futurenet also wrote that the collaboration had been merely "suspended" and expressed "regret" over the situation.
Since 2005, Futurenet has owned exclusive licensing rights for all Raf Simons labels (which include Raf by Raf Simons as well as his regular eponymous line) along with Japan's Mitsui group; they also operate the two freestanding Raf Simons stores in Tokyo and Osaka. While the transition to new partnerships may be tricky for Simons over the next few months, it won't affect his work for Jil Sander. Cathy Horyn, a self-proclaimed Raf Simons enthusiast, believes that he'll iron out a new partnership deal by February, and doesn't seem to be worried about him at all: "Unfortunately, small and independent designers face challenges of this kind all the time. He’ll just have to work it out."