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Standing in the Gagosian Gallery on 21st street in the middle of a large swarm of journalists Raf Simons explains his Walk with me invitation message and directives for the activist show dedicated to New York. Elaborating the idea of being fearless, Raf encourages young people to resist and listen to the inner voice.

About the collection

“When you first come to New York you mostly end up at places that are very touristic, like Statue of Liberty, Times Square. You see all these “Thank you”, “ I ♥ you” kind of things. I’m coming to New York for more than 20 years, and now I’m in a different environment. So, I wanted to go back and combine the feeling of how I experienced the city in the beginning with how I experience it now. It’s an old attraction to the city, what it stands for, combined with what’s happening now... There were a lot of contrasts: naivety and awareness, female and male, scotch tape and sophisticated dress codes.”

About the references

“In a mindset I wanted to refer punk, but not aesthetically. Punk was a reaction from younger generation to the things that were happening. You can only speak up, I think, and bring a kind of energy and things that stands against it. I think that was my challenge.”

About fearlessness

“We have to activate the possibility of using our voice. The fearless part is important and not only in a political context. But in fashion and art and architecture and writing, we should be more fearless. We don’t have to behave like people are expecting us to behave or not behave like everybody else is behaving.

I think when you have a voice and you want to have a voice, you cannot just kind of walk around and do your thing. When you have a voice, you should use it.”

David Valinskiy

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