9 Inspiring Fashion Designers From Antwerp’s Royal Academy

Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts is widely known for having trained many of the most talented fashion designers of this century. The famous Antwerp Six, for instance, was a group of students that graduated there in the ‘80s. Find out more about the work of some of the Six alongside other talents nurtured in the creative cradle of Antwerp here.

by Rebecca IvancevicFebruary 25, 2019, 8:30 PM

#1 Martin Margiela

The deconstructivist Martin Margiela invented new ways of tailoring workwear and brought different, provocative angles to the way garments are consumed, presented and experienced. With his artistic, experimental, and innovative approach he created a completely new mode of fashion design. Find some original pieces from Martin’s collections here.

#2 Raf Simons

His numerous positions as a creative director at brands such as Jil Sander and Calvin Klein created a legend around Raf Simons. His major achievement was the pioneering of modern contemporary menswear and the establishment of a new avant-garde through forward thinking design, which earned him a strong reputation in the fashion scene.

#3 Ann Demeulemeester

In the early days of the Antwerp Six, Ann Demeulemeester generated her own distinctive and instantly recognizable signature. Her pieces are influenced by the goth and punk movements as well as by Japanese aesthetics, which developed into a language all its own. With her precise, reduced, and straightforward designs, she strived to push conventions.

#4 Dries Van Noten

As one of the Antwerp Six, Dries van Noten developed his own vision for future fashion. His powerful designs feature dazzling prints, fine materials and effortless wearability that one rarely forgets. Every season, Dries takes us on a different journey into a corner of his universe.

#5 Walter van Beirendonck

Walter van Beirendonck can be fairly named the figurehead of the Antwerp fashion scene: he’s one of the Six as well as the Head of the Fashion Department in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. With his cutting-edge, playful and colorful designs, he deftly straddles art and fashion. Buckle up for Walter van Beirendonck.

#6 Haider Ackermann

Another alumnus of the Royal Academy, Haider Ackermann fuses diverse cultural influences with a resolutely modern, dynamic vision of contemporary tailoring. His silhouettes are feminine and sophisticated, offering a complexity of materials that meld into a distinctive style. Enquire below.

#7 Peter Pilotto

Peter Pilotto’s team is not currently based in Antwerp but, nevertheless, the Flemish city is the place where Pilotto and his business partner Christopher de Vos met and started working together. The brand lives for prints and colors, refined into futuristic or folkloric shapes.

#8 A.F. Vandevorst

The duo A.F. Vandevorst has been drawing inspiration from art, religion, horses and rivets for over twenty years. This wild mixture of influences has been refined into solid wearable collections and given rise to a variety of garments in diverse materials, from leather to jersey.

#9 Christian Wijnants

Christian Wijnants’ graduate collection was a huge success in 2000, when he won multiple awards including the prestigious Grand Prix d’Hyères. That promise of quality continues to this day. His label lavishes with sensual, innovative collections and nourishes us with well made, exclusive garments. Explore his Spring/Summer collection here on wysker.