BELGIUM – ANTWERP
Born in Belgium in 1958, Dries Van Noten has always been immersed in the world of fashion. His father ran a menswear boutique, while his grandfather was a tailor. As a young man, he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, graduating in 1981.
Five years later, the Belgian designer travelled to London to present his first collection. The presentation was a great success, earning him worldwide recognition. But he wasn’t alone: he was accompanied by his five comrades Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene and Dirk Bikkembergs, earning them the nicknames of the “Antwerp Six” or “Group of Six”.
Following this event, buyers all over the world snapped up his creations, which were sold at Barneys in New York and Whistles in London. In 1991, his brand made its Paris debut at Men’s Fashion Week. Two years later, he returned with his women’s collection. In the mid-90s, he was commissioned to create costumes for a number of ballets by Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.
The 2000s established Dries Van Noten as the undisputed master of Belgian fashion. In 2009, he received an international award from the Council of American Fashion Designers. The following year, he and his five associates presided over the Hyères Festival, which rewards young designers.
His recognisable style is made up of prints, ethnic-inspired motifs, tawny colours and touches of retro. Dries Van Noten mixes it with a play of sometimes original textile materials, such as leopard in his 2006 collection, crocodile or leather.
Today, Dries Van Noten lives and works in Antwerp, close to his first boutique “Het Modepaleis”, opened in 1989. A temple of taste that has spread to the four corners of the globe, from Paris to Hong Kong, via London and Tokyo.
Today, he continues to expand his universe with the “Dries Van Noten Galerie”, a reference to the Parisian address’s cultural past. A space dedicated to perfumes, beauty and accessories just one year after its entry into this segment.
The Dries Van Noten Galerie is located in a historic building dating back to 1625. Originally intended as the residence of the Prince of Transylvania, the address was transformed into the Galerie Breheret to house works by Picasso and Chagall. The interior, designed by the brand’s architect Gert Voorjans, echoes the world of the Belgian designer, with a 17th-century Flemish tapestry depicting a pergola in the middle of a garden oasis. A nod to the artist’s passion for floriculture. You can’t get there without passing through the darkened cabinet of curiosities, featuring archival pieces available for purchase.
Dries Van Noten Galerie
7, quai Malaquais, Paris 6e