Antwerp – Belgium's Fashion Capital
Ever since Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts produced the Antwerp Six, who famously burst onto the world’s fashion stage in the late 1980, Antwerp’s reputation as a producer of some of the world’s most innovative fashion designers is firmly stamped on the global fashion map. The Antwerp Six, at the time a young, fearless group of ‘deconstructivist’ experimental designers, created raw edge, unconventional yet exquisitely tailored clothing. Now of course, they are each part of the world’s fashion establishment.
Antwerp today continues to pulses with a vibrant creative energy that has produced the third or even fourth generation of young fashion designers, hallmarked by a fierce individuality and flair for trend setting rather than trend following.
Many claim that it was the ability of the Antwerp Six to inspire the next generation of budding Belgian-based fashion designers, which led to a snowball effect, enabling Antwerp and its now world famous fashion college, to continue to produce so many top designers.
Today, sought–after Belgian fashion designers comprise both established fashion icons such as Dirk Bikkemberg and Dries van Noten, as well as exciting new names of the younger generation, making its own distinct and very elegant mark such as Veronique Leroy and Thimister.
Selected Belgian Designers available in our featured Amsterdam shops:
Ann Demeulemeester, one of the Antwerp Six, is famed for attention to detail and her matching of unusual fabrics. Her style is generally influenced by punk, gothic and oriental features. She launched her own line in 1985 and added her menswear line in 1996.
Dirk Van Saene is perhaps the most avant garde of the Antwerp Six. His concept has always been that ‘fashion is fun’.
Dries van Noten, the most refined of the Antwerp Six, is renowned for his luxurious designs, which exude glamour yet are very wearable. He is also known for his ingenious mixing of textures and textiles.
Martin Margiela, straight-lined yet controversial, a key member of the avant garde fashion movement from Antwerp, he is now based in Paris. Another ‘deconstructivist’, he is as well known for his unconventional fashions and for his offbeat locations for his fashions shows.
Veronique Branquinho found herself inspired by the Antwerp Six to attend fashion school. She qualified in 1995. Her collections stress purity of shape, featuring high quality tailoring with a traditional finishing.